A man has died after a being mauled by a shark in Queensland’s Whitsundays.
According to a report by Sunrise on Tuesday morning, a Victorian tourist died following the attack in the iconic Queensland tourist hotspot. It is believed he was swimming off a charter boat with friends when the attack occurred.
The man is thought to be in his 30s and was airlifted from Cid Harbour to Mackay Hospital in a critical condition with significant leg and wrist injuries on Monday afternoon. According to Queensland Ambulance, the attack occurred at around 5:37pm.
The man suffered major blood loss was and was resuscitated twice, but died as a result of his injuries.
The deadly attack comes six weeks after two other people were attacked in the same area. On September 20, Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick was bitten as she snorkelled in Cid Harbour.
The 46-year-old received serious injuries and underwent an extensive 18-hour reconstructive surgery to save her mauled right leg. Less than 24 hours later, Melbourne schoolgirl Hannah Papps was attacked while swimming in an area nearby. She was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition where she was treated for the injuries sustained to her leg.
Following those two attacks, four sharks were killed off the coast of Queensland. Officials from Fisheries Queensland enticed the sharks using baited lines. Despite being unsure whether they were the creatures responsible for the attacks, the predators were then “humanely euthanised”.
“Nothing is more important than the protection of human life,” Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said in a statement following the attacks. “I want these drum lines in place as soon as possible. Fisheries officers and water police are already patrolling the area.”
The state government’s actions were later slammed by conservation groups and members of the public, who argued culling makes the situation worse and doesn’t prevent future attacks.
“Baited drum lines targeting sharks in the area will do nothing to prevent further accidents,” Jonathan Clark from Sea Shepherd Australia said in a statement at the time. “They may even make the situation worse.
“We have been told that this is an area where locals do not swim, that fishers take sharks there, and that it’s a safe harbour for boats but not for swimming. One of the best mitigation methods is good public information. Were locals and visitors adequately warned following the first bite incident?”
According to Sunrise, Locals have said people need to know the risks when swimming in the area and need to be aware of the areas where they can and can’t swim in safety.