GoPro footage shows rescue of 12yo shark victim

Minnie Murray
September 21, 2018

The 12-year-old was rescued by helicopter from Cid Harbour on Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland state coast after being bitten on the upper leg.

QAS Mackay operations manager Tracey Eastwick confirmed the girl has suffered significant injuries, including a bite to her leg just below the groin.

In a stroke of luck a rescue helicopter scrambled to the region was just 15 minutes away from the scene due to an earlier operation they'd been undertaking.

Mr Furner also paid tribute to those who provided life-saving first aid to the victims along with RACQ CQ Rescue crew, paramedics and medical staff from Mackay Base Hospital.

Ms Barwick, a mother of two, is in a critical condition in Mackay Base Hospital where she remains on Thursday after overnight surgery.

The Whitsundays are home to several species of sharks, most of which are not considered threatening, including white-tip and black-tip reef sharks.

However, in other areas of north Queensland the shark control program targets Tiger and Bull sharks.

"The child is in a critical but stable condition at this time".

Less than 24 hours prior, Tasmanian tourist, avid snorkeller, mother and healthcare worker Justine Barwick, 46, was attacked by a shark - presumably the same one - at almost the same spot.

In a cruel twist, it was the same RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter pilot and air crewman that rescued both Mrs Barwick and the young girl.

The woman is airlifted by RACQ CQ Rescue.

An avid snorkeller, Justine Barwick was swimming near her family yacht during her annual holiday at Queensland's picturesque Whitsundays, a warm change from her Tasmanian home town of Burnie. "That's why these events are so shocking".

"Justine is a fighter- a fit resilient woman who is an outstanding leader in the aged and disability care sectors".

The mast and the fact the vessel had no open deck area prevented the winch from occurring from the boat, so Mr Macdonald helped get the woman into a dinghy she could be winched from to be transported to hospital.

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