Marine authorities have now deployed drum lines off the Whitsundays, in hope of catching sharks responsible for two attacks within 24 hours. Both victims have now been flown to Brisbane for treatment.

Daniele Antonaglia reports.


Emergency services raced to a familiar scene, to save the life of another shark attack victim in the Whitsundays.

A 12-year-old girl from New Zealand, was bitten on the upper thigh and is fighting for her life.

She was rushed to Mackay Base Hospital for emergency surgery and has since been transferred to Brisbane.

Tracey Eastwick, Queensland Ambulance Service: “She certainly did suffer significant blood loss and the update this morning as reported by the hospital as I understand is that she is still in a critical condition.”

Less than 24 hours earlier emergency services were confronted with a similar horrific scene when Tasmanian tourist Justine Barwick was mauled in the same waters.

Quick thinking friends and a doctor on holiday nearby saved the 46 year old mother’s life.

John Hadok, Emergency Doctor: “When I saw her I was very concerned that she may not survive.”

She is currently in a Brisbane hospital, where her condition has been upgraded to stable.

Ben McCauley, RACQ Rescue Crewman: “She was very scared, cold, in shock, in and out of consciousness, but yeah she is very lucky to be alive.”

Marine authorities say shark attacks are rare in this area, but after this week’s events, they are taking precautions.

They’ve put in three drum lines today and are still patrolling the area.

Nevertheless locals and tourists alike are being urged to stay out of the water until the shark is caught.

Daniele Antonaglia, QUT News.