State warned: ‘Flirting with danger’ on sharks
THE Queensland government has been told to stop "flirting with danger" and install permanent drum lines around Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays after another swimmer was fatally attacked by a shark.
The 33-year-old Victorian man had been on a charter boat with friends on Monday and gone paddle boarding and then swimming before he was bitten around 5.30pm.
He was pulled onto a boat and treated by a paramedic from Hamilton Island, two- off duty doctors and an emergency department nurse from nearby vessels.
He was resuscitated twice before being flown to Mackay Hospital in a critical condition with bites to his left thigh, right calf and left wrist.
He later died of his injuries which RACQ crewman Ben McCauley described as "absolutely horrific".
"He'd suffered very serious bites, significant blood loss as well as cardiac arrest."
Yesterday's attack happened in the same waters where two tourists were mauled in separate attacks within 24 hours in September.
Tasmanian mother of two Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on the left thigh while snorkelling on September 19 and underwent 18 hours of surgery.
Melbourne girl Hannah Papps, 12, was bitten while swimming in shallow water in Cid Harbour the following day. She lost her leg in the attack.
Baited drum lines were installed around Cid Harbour following the second attack but removed about a week later.
Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said at the time the drum lines, which had caught a number of large sharks, had been effective in raising awareness.
He ruled out permanent shark control measures because Cid Harbour was too far from the mainland to allow quick access to remove them in bad weather.
However, Whitsunday LNP MP Jason Costigan said the controls must be urgently reconsidered.
"I think we're flirting with danger when you compare us to other communities, from Alice Beach north of Cairns, down to Townsville, which is peppered with drum lines and nets and so forth, around Magnetic Island, the northern beaches of Mackay and you go all the way down to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, and we've got nothing in the Whitsundays - it's madness," he told ABC radio this morning.
Mr Furner's office has been contacted for comment.