Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Woman suffers serious injuries in Whitsundays shark attack

Woman suffers serious injuries in Whitsundays shark attack

Barwick was badly hurt on the upper right leg, ambulance officials said, and a doctor who was on a nearby boat attended to her until rescuers arrived by helicopter.

The 46-year-old from Tasmania was swimming near a charter yacht at the time of the attack, which left her with significant leg and torso injuries.

"The injuries today are again a shark attack maul bite to the patient's thigh area with significant blood loss and serious injuries", said ambulance officer Tracey Eastwick.

A rescue helicopter that scrambled to pick her up was just 15 minutes away from the scene due to an earlier operation.

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

In a series of tweets, RACQ Rescue confirmed it had sent the rescue helicopter to Cid Harbour to retrieve the victim.

Parts of the Great Barrier Reef are protected by shark drumlines, but past year a group of Sydney greenies started legal action to remove shark controls from the area.

RACQ CQ Rescue's view during the rescue of a 12-year-old shark bite victim
RACQ CQ Rescue's view during the rescue of a 12-year-old shark bite victim RACQ CQ Rescue

"When I arrived she was out of the water and her marvellous friends and family had already applied lifesaving first aid to control the bleeding", he said.

"The shark had taken a huge chunk out of her inside leg and she was bleeding out", RACQ CQ Rescue rescue crewman Ben McCauley said. Her blood pressure was so low I couldn't even feel her pulse, but she was able to say a few words.

It was lucky the CQ rescue helicopter was already close by when it got the call for help, giving the woman the best shot of survival.

"Fisheries is working with other agencies including the police and marine parks". "That's why these events are so shocking".

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

"Justine is a fighter: a fit, resilient woman who is an outstanding leader in the aged and disability care sectors".

After being stabilised aboard a boat she was loaded on to a helicopter which had landed on the beach near Cid Harbour, off the coast of Airlie Beach near Hamilton Island.

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