Hunt for shark after two attacks

Holidaymaker Justine Barwick is stretchered to hospital after horrific shark attack in Whitsunday Islands

Holidaymaker Justine Barwick is stretchered to hospital after horrific shark attack in Whitsunday Islands

A girl has sustained serious injuries after being bitten on the leg by a shark at Cid Harbour after midday today.

Mackay Base Hospital last night confirmed the woman was in a critical condition after losing a significant amount of blood in the attack. As the RACQ CQ Rescue crew were unable to winch off the yacht, the injured woman was put into a dinghy and taken 100 metres from the boat.

Canberra, Sep 20 (IANS) An Australian woman was in a critical condition on Thursday after being attacked by a shark.

Ms Thomas said the water police vessel ferried the victim from the boat she was on to Whitsunday Island so she could be loaded into the waiting helicopter.

RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter crewman Ben McCauley said the doctor and others who gave first aid to Ms Barwick before she was winched aboard had likely saved her life.

The department's shark control program manager Jeff Krause said it was too early to determine what species of shark was responsible for the first attacks in the area in eight years.

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It was lucky the CQ rescue helicopter was already close by when it got the call for help, giving the woman the best shot of survival.

On Friday, a Queensland Shark Control Program contractor will deploy three shark control drumlines - a system of buoys "designed to remove larger, unsafe sharks from an area", according to the Fisheries spokesman.

The Whitsundays is an island know for its glistening beaches, turquoise waters and colourful reefs on the coast of Queensland, making the area extremely popular with tourists. Witnesses saw a 3m great white nearby.

The spokeswoman said the patient was being transported to Mackay Base Hospital for further treatment, with a QAS critical care paramedic on board.

Justine was on leave with her husband and friends enjoying time on their family yacht as part of an annual trip to the Whitsundays. "Shark attacks in these waters are rare", he said.

"Nothing is more important than the protection of human life", he said.

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