Shark attacks two snorkelers, one loses foot



Two snorkelers with a tour group in Australia suffered serious injuries in a shark attack Tuesday morning between Hook Island and Whitsunday Island on a Queensland reef known as a popular snorkeling location.

Tragically, a 28-year-old man lost his foot as a result of the attack and a 22-year-old man suffered serious lacerations to his calf by what was believed to be the same shark, the Brisbane Times and News 9 reported.

RACQ CQ Rescue crewmen were told by the two British victims that they were “wrestling and thrashing about in the water…when the attack occurred,” the rescue organization reported on Twitter.

“One of the male patients was attacked first and the shark is believed to have come back and attacked the second patient … they were attacked in a very short period of time,” Queensland Ambulance Service operations manager Tracey Eastwick told the Brisbane Times.

The type of shark that attacked was not known, and it was unclear how many of the 20 people aboard the tour boat were in the water at the time, the Daily Mail reported.

Two international paramedics were part of the day trip with ZigZag Whitsundays, the tour company, and administered crucial first aid, immediately applying tourniquets to the victims.

Paramedics were waiting at Airlie Beach when the tour boat arrived and the victims, conscious and alert, were flown by RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter to Mackay Base Hospital.

News 9 reported that the older man’s foot was so badly injured that it was later amputated.

“We are saddened to confirm that two of our guests were injured in a shark attack this morning,” ZigZag Whitsundays wrote on Facebook. “Our thoughts are with them, their families and the other guests on the tour.

“We are working with authorities to assist in any way we can. We have suspended our tours for today and will work closely with authorities regarding our upcoming tours.”

Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Premier of Queensland, said her “fingers were crossed” for the victims.

Also on FTW Outdoors: 17-foot great white shark shakes cage full of divers

The attacks come amid controversy about the use of drum lines to reduce the risk of shark attacks, of which there have been several, including two within 24 hours last month at Cid Harbor at Whitsunday Island.

From AAP via 9 News:

Drum lines were briefly installed in the Whitsundays region and six large sharks were killed following the September attacks, prompting heated debate within the community.

Just last month, the Queensland government was ordered by the federal court to end its shark-culling program. Baited hooks were being used to lure sharks and if they were one of 19 target species – such as tiger or bull sharks – they were killed.

Experts told the court that killing sharks does not make a difference to the very rare chance of a shark attack.

Generic photo of shark by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

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Via OverwatchWire


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