Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Child critically injured after second Queensland shark attack in 24 hours

Child critically injured after second Queensland shark attack in 24 hours

The girl's father was with her on the flight to McKay Base Hospital where she had emergency surgery on her injured leg.

The girl was air-lifted to hospital after being bitten on the leg while swimming in the Whitsundays in northeastern Australia, first responders said.

The Brisbane Times reports that the girl was with her father and sister when she was attacked, and was given pain relief and three pints of blood on the flight to Mackay hospital, where a trauma team was waiting on her arrival.

Justine Barwick, 46, was badly mauled by a shark on Wednesday evening and a 12-year-old girl was attacked yesterday afternoon.

Bond University shark attack expert Daryl McPhee said while the likelihood of being attacked by a shark is slim, the Great Barrier Reef has a higher population of sharks than other areas.

"She was loaded into the helicopter and transported to Mackay Base Hospital arriving at 3.40pm (Thursday, Queensland time) in a critical condition".

Queensland Ambulance Service Rockhampton manager Mindy Thomas said they sent a helicopter from Mackay and a paramedic from Hamilton Island.

Ms Barwick has also been transferred to Brisbane and is in a stable condition in the intensive care unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

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"It is horrific. for us as a community of paramedics it is quite confronting to have two similar incidents in the space of less than 24 hours", she told reporters.

Melbourne girl Hannah Papps, 12, was bitten by a shark just one day after Justine Barwick.

Ms Barwick - who works for Family Based Care in north-west Burnie in northern Tasmania - was pulled out of the water and onto a nearby yacht, which happened to have a doctor on board.

Fisheries Queensland set three baited drum lines in the harbour on Friday morning at Sawmill Bay, which will remain in place for a week.

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.

A 12-year-old is in a serious condition after being attacked by a shark - the second incident in 24 hours at the tourist spot.


Managing director Christophe Vanek says all its clients on the water have been warned to be vigilant and refrain from swimming in Cid Harbour and the broader Whitsundays for the foreseeable future.

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