Man dies after being attacked by shark in Whitsundays


Australia has seen a total of 17 shark attacks this year, killing one and leaving 16 injured.

The 33-year-old victim, Daniel Christidis, was among 10 friends who set out from Airlie Beach on the Queensland state mainland on Monday morning on a rented yacht to sail themselves on a five-day cruise through the idyllic Whitsunday Islands, Police Inspector Steve O'Connell said.

The patrols are created to provide reassurance to the boating community and tourists on the water.

O'Connell said that this year's three major attacks remain an anomaly for the area.

He was savaged while taking turns to paddleboard with a female friend during the late afternoon.

"We can't be clearer - don't swim in Cid Harbour", he said, according to the news outlet.

"There's just a period of time when conditions are such that it maybe causes attacks to be more frequent".

Two doctors who were part of the man's group provided immediate first aid and the Queensland Ambulance Service was notified.

A male patient is now being airlifted to Mackay Hospital with significant leg and wrist injuries following a shark attack in waters near #CidHarbour which occurred at 5.37pm.

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Ben McCauley, the emergency helicopter crew member, described the incident as "absolutely horrific".

At that time, the Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner urged visitors to the area to remain vigilant "and to avoid swimming to reduce the risk of any further shark attacks".

Tasmanian mother of two Justine Barwick (46) was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area on September 19 and underwent 18 hours of surgery.

The last shark attack in the Whitsunday Islands before the latest spate occurred on February 13, 2010, off Dent Island when a 60-year-old woman survived severe lacerations to her buttocks and major blood loss.

In September, two shark attacks occurred within a day of each other.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly had said at the time that the Trumbull attack was the third ever recorded in the islands and the first in 13 years. "We are reaching out to his colleagues and will provide counseling support to anyone who needs it", the rep said.

In response to September's shark attacks, Australian authorities have installed drum lines for a week - an aquatic trap to lure and capture sharks using baited hooks.

Conservationists argue that drum lines kill sharks unethically, and also harm other marine life.