Woman suffers serious injuries in Whitsundays shark attack

Woman in serious condition after shark attack off Whitsunday Island

Shark attack in Whitsundays leaves woman, 46, critical

A young girl mauled by a shark in the Whitsundays is believed to be from New Zealand.

She was swimming with her father and sister near Whithaven Beach about midday Thursday when she was attacked, less than a day after a 45-year-old woman suffered critical injuries from a shark attack in the same area.

"We [had] two paramedics and a doctor on scene", she said.

On Wednesday, Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick was flown to Mackay Base Hospital after she was mauled on the leg by a shark.

The mast and the fact the vessel had no open deck area prevented the winch from occurring from the boat, so Mr Macdonald helped get the woman into a dinghy she could be winched from to be transported to hospital.

Unprovoked shark attacks have killed one person and injured 14 others in Australia this year, according to the Australian Shark Attack File.

Fisheries officers and water police were also patrolling the area, while swimmers were told to stay out of the water at the popular holiday hotspot.

The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter lands at Mackay Base Hospital with shark attack victim Justine Barwick, inset.

It's understood she was bleeding heavily from a leg injury when she was pulled from the water.

"The original first aid was actually really well done", rescue helicopter crewman Ben McCauley said.

The quick actions of emergency department doctor John Hadok have been credited with saving Ms Barwick's life.

The chopper flew to Proserpine Airport to refuel and was met by paramedics with bags of blood and additional pain relief for the woman, who was at that stage in a stable but very serious condition.

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