There’s been a second shark attack in the Whitsunday region within the space of 24 hours. Tonight a young girl is in hospital, in serious condition. A Tasmanian tourist, attacked late yesterday, remains in critical condition in hospital.

Laura fell reports.


46-year-old Justine Barwick was bitten while swimming off a charter yacht at Cid Harbour in Whitsunday Island around 5pm.

Paramedics say she suffered serious injuries to her upper right leg and is lucky to be alive.

An emergency doctor who happened to be on a nearby boat managed to stop the bleeding in time for a rescue helicopter to arrive.

Ben McCauley, Rescue Crew Officer: “The original first aid was actually really well done um we actually didn’t have to do anything with the leg it was much pretty much tourniquet up, bandaged really well, the blood loss had stopped, they’d done a really good job.”

The rescue helicopter had been on a beacon search in the area when it was called to the scene.

Ben McCauley, Rescue Crew Officer: “If we weren’t around in the area by the time she got back to the mainland then she still would have been helicoptered out of there, she probably wouldn’t have made it.”

The woman was flown to Mackay Base Hospital where she underwent surgery last night.

Local captains advise swimmers to avoid the water early mornings and late afternoons.

Laura Fell, QUT News.