Australian man bitten by shark near Great Barrier Reef dies

Frederick Owens
November 7, 2018

Friends and rescue crews at the scene tried to resuscitate the man until he was airlifted to nearby Mackay Base Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.

Whitsunday Police are interviewing witnesses to the incident and will use this information to prepare a report for the Coroner.

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 Queensland Police Service extends its sympathies to the deceased man's loved ones at this hard time.

"The woman has gotten out of the water off the standing paddleboard and the man has gone into the water, shortly thereafter he was the victim of an attack by the shark".

He suffered severe injuries to his left thigh, right calf and left wrist, and the group gave first aid to him after he was pulled from the water onto the 40-foot chartered vessel.

"Every time you have a series of bites, it's usually because of something that's changed within the environment or something that will affect or change the shark's behaviour", Dr Chapman said.

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

"When the man got off the paddle boat and into the water, he was bitten by the shark".

Signs will be installed around the area warning people not to go swimming there, Jones said, adding that, "Neither the local mayor, Andrew Willcox, marine authorities nor local tourism operators want to see drum lines redeployed".

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Natassia Wheeler said they supported all efforts to inform visitors about the dangers of sharks in the area.

The pre-teen lost her leg in the attack, which led to a shark bait operation, in which six sharks were hooked and killed within a week.

The attack follows two others in the same area in September, when a 12-year-old girl and a 46-year-old man suffered severe injuries from shark attacks while swimming on two consecutive days.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said in the statement that the harbor is a popular site to moor boats and the disposal of food scraps could attract sharks. "We simply do not know why this is occurring and what is responsible for it".

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