Shark attacks 12-year-old girl near Great Barrier Reef

Charlene Craig
September 21, 2018

The woman was then winched onto the CQ rescue helicopter with a "significant shark bite to her right thigh and a smaller wound to her right lower leg".

Queensland Ambulance also confirmed the young girl, who was in a critical condition, was being transported to nearby Mackay Hospital by helicopter.

The woman is airlifted by RACQ CQ Rescue.

Officials say a woman is in critical condition after she was mauled by a shark on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

"We landed on the beach of Whitsunday Island and the Whitsunday water police picked up our doctor and our paramedic, took them out to the vessel where she was and they got her into the boat and brought her back to the shore", she said.

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A rescue helicopter was dispatched to the area about 1.45pm.

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.

With their fuel tank just ten minutes short of what was needed to reach Mackay, the RACQ CQ Rescue diverted to Prosperine to refuel.

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

"From what I'd heard on the radio, I had no idea it was a shark attack", he said.

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"She is an avid snorkeller and enjoys these times away with family and friends", Family Based Care chief executive Douglass Doherty said.

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

Mr Furner urged swimmers to stay out of the water in the vicinity of Cid Harbour and Sawmill Bay near Whitsunday Island. "That's why these events are so shocking".

"It didn't surprise me, because she is such a fighter, when she was being taken off the rescue helicopter and taken into hospital she was telling them what she was allergic too and still able to give directions", Mr Doherty told AAP.

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