Shark victim was on annual Whitsundays holiday

Pauline Gross
September 21, 2018

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

She remains in hospital in a critical condition after surgery.

She had lost a significant amount of blood after she was mauled on the thigh, said Queensland ambulance operations manager Tracey Eastwick.

The injury was very similar to the bite suffered by a 46 year old Tasmanian tourist the day before.

"In north Queensland, shark attacks are not that common".

The crew was doing a beacon search in the vicinity of the Bowen area when they were called to the shark attack incident.

After being treated on the beach, she was flown to Mackay Hospital for immediate treatment.

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Australia ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark encounters with humans in 2017, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

"Fisheries officers and water police are already patrolling the area".

Doctor John Hadok, an off-duty emergency department doctor from Mackay Base Hospital, was able to attend the woman when she was pulled from the water, bleeding heavily from a wound on her leg.

"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.

Mr McCauley was then winched down out of the helicopter into the water and had to swim to the dinghy and climb on board.

"The main thing was to keep her alive and conscious".

Ms Barwick works for non-profit Family Based Care in Burnie and had travelled to the Whitsundays on a holiday with her husband Craig and friends.

Other reports by GizPress

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