A 28-year-old British tourist lost his foot when a shark completely ripped it off. The tourist was in the ocean at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef when the horrifying shark attack happened.
Another Brit was mauled by the shark during the same incident.
The victims explained to the helicopter rescue crew that they were wrestling each other and “thrashing about in the water.” They were in a passage between Hayman and Whitsunday Islands when the shark attacked.
Both men are in serious but stable condition.
Spate of attacks
A spate of attacks in the Whitsundays left authorities struggling to explain an apparent escalation in danger in the internationally-renowned vacation destination.
A shark killed a man in November last year in a Whitsunday Island harbor where 2 tourists had been mauled a month earlier. The 33-year-old victim had been diving from a paddle board while on a yacht cruise.
In September of last year, 2 Australian tourists were attacked on consecutive days, one a 12-year-old girl who lost a leg.
Sharks in the Great Barrier Reef
The most common species of sharks seen by scuba divers on the Great Barrier Reef are white tip and black tip reef sharks. But the one shark you will not see on the Great Barrier Reef is the great white shark. Great white sharks prefer the colder waters of the Southern Ocean.
The Queensland government lost its battle for the right to use nets and drumlines to catch and kill sharks in a bid to protect swimmers on the Great Barrier Reef. The state government appeal to maintain its controversial management program was dismissed in the federal court in Sydney.
In April the Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld a challenge to the program in the Great Barrier Reef marine park by the Humane Society. In its decision, the tribunal said the scientific evidence about “the lethal component” of the shark control program “overwhelmingly” showed it did not reduce the risk of an unprovoked shark attack.
The decision means the fisheries department will now be required to carry out the program in a way that avoids killing sharks to the “greatest extent possible.” Authorities will only be permitted to authorize the euthanasia of sharks caught on drumlines on animal welfare grounds.
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