Australian man dies after shark attack in Whitsundays' Cid Harbour

Minnie Murray
November 9, 2018

"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 was flown to hospital but died from massive blood loss.

A man has died after being attacked by a shark while paddle boarding and swimming near the Whitsunday Islands in northeast Australia.

"Every solid effort was made to save that man's life", O'Connell said.

"[It] will not make a huge dint in the overall catch of particular sharks", he said.

"At this stage we are taking the advice of the locals on ground and both the council and Tourism Whitsundays advise that they'd prefer not to have drum lines", Ms Jones said.

A spokesman for Christidis' employer, Austin Health, said his colleagues were "absolutely reeling" from the news of his death.

Prof Colin Simpfendorfer, from James Cook University, said shark attacks were "extremely rare" in the Whitsundays, but no theories had "so far been supported by real substantial information" to understand the spike in shark activity.

The Whitsunday Water Police will be conducting patrols of Cid Harbour today along with vessels from other Queensland and Commonwealth Government agencies.

Prof O'Connell said Dr Christidis showed "amazing patient care" on one occasion getting an upset patient a cake on her birthday.

The species of shark has not yet been determined.

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.

Barwick said in a statement that she was "devastated for the family and friends of this young man ... this is a bad tragedy".

Whitsunday is the largest island in the Whitsunday Islands group, a major worldwide tourist attraction popular with scuba divers and sailors where shark attacks have been rare.

"The Cid Harbour area is not covered by the Queensland Government's Shark Control Program, which operates at 85 of Queensland's most popular beaches", he said. "Drum lines or not, no one should swim in Cid Harbour".

"That is a safety strategy, trying to warn people of the issues in the area and to provide messaging to people who may not be aware of what happened in Cid Harbour yesterday and September", Insp O'Connell said.

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