A young girl mauled by a shark in the Whitsundays is being airlifted to Brisbane for further treatment this morning.

The 12-year-old who's believed to be from New Zealand, is in a critical condition after becoming the second shark victim within 24 hours in Cid Harbour.

It's believed she had been holidaying with her father and sister.

RACQ CQ Rescue told The Courier-Mail the medical crew had described her injuries as "absolutely horrific".


"Unbelievably it's actually a really similar injury to what the lady yesterday suffered as well, exact same spot but opposite leg," a spokeswoman said.

It took CQ Rescue's medical team 20 minutes to treat the young girl on the beach after the attack.

"We landed on the beach of Whitsunday Island and the Whitsunday water police picked up our doctor and our paramedic, took them out to the vessel where she was and they got her into the boat and brought her back to the shore," she said.

After being treated on the beach, she was flown to Mackay Hospital for immediate treatment.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it has not been approached for consular assistance in relation to this incident.

Queensland Ambulance Service Mackay operations manager Tracey Eastwick said the girl had been in a critical condition.

"As you can imagine they're fairly large wounds with artery and bones, vessels, large haemorrhage," Ms Eastwick said.

"Her status at the moment could be called critical until further information is released."


The victim had been with her sister and father when the attack happened.

After being stabilised aboard a boat she was loaded on to a helicopter which had landed on the beach near Cid Harbour, off the coast of Airlie Beach near Hamilton Island.

The incident was reported at 1.45pm and the rescue chopper arrived a little over 30 minutes later.

Just over an hour later Queensland Ambulance Service said the child was conscious and being treated for a serious upper-leg injury. A critical-care paramedic was on the scene.

She was transported to Mackay Hospital by helicopter about 3.20pm and arrived about 4pm.

QAS Rockhampton operations centre manager Mindy Thomas said the girl was in a critical but stable condition with a significant leg injury.

The attack happened at Sawmill Bay, near yesterday's terrifying attack.

The attack was the second in the Whitsundays area. Photo / 123RF
The attack was the second in the Whitsundays area. Photo / 123RF

Meanwhile, a Tasmanian tourist remains in a critical condition in hospital following yesterday's attack.

Keen snorkeller Justine Barwick was swimming near a yacht at Cid Harbour off Sawmill Bay about 5pm when she was mauled by a shark, suffering a life-threatening bite to her upper right leg.​

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department will look to bait sharks in the Cid Harbour area tomorrow, in a bid to reduce the possibility of any further attacks.

Three drumlines with baited hooks will be deployed around the region tomorrow morning.

A Queensland Boating and Fisheries patrol vessel is also on site this afternoon to stop people from swimming where two people were attacked.

"Fisheries Queensland has organised for the Queensland Shark Control Program contractor based at Mackay to deploy three shark control drumlines in the area tomorrow morning," the department said in a statement.

"Fisheries is working with other agencies including the police and marine parks."
The Queensland Government's shark control program operates at 85 of the state's most popular beaches.

"It is important to be aware that sharks inhabit the Queensland coastline, as well as estuaries, rivers, creeks, canals and streams - both saltwater and freshwater," the statement continued.

Justine Barwick, from Tasmania, was swimming near a yacht in Queensland's exotic Whitsundays Islands on Wednesday night, when she was attacked by the shark. Photo / Supplied
Justine Barwick, from Tasmania, was swimming near a yacht in Queensland's exotic Whitsundays Islands on Wednesday night, when she was attacked by the shark. Photo / Supplied

To reduce the risk of a shark attack in Queensland waters, people should be discerning when choosing where and when they swim and follow these swimmer safety guidelines:

• Swim or surf only at patrolled beaches and between the flags

• Obey lifesavers' and lifeguards' advice, and heed all signs and safety warnings

• Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted

• Do not swim or surf after dusk, at night or before dawn when sharks are most active

• Do not swim or surf in murky waters

• Do not swim in or near mouths of estuaries, artificial canals and lakes

• Never swim alone

• Never swim when bleeding

• Do not swim near schools of fish or where fish are being cleaned

• Do not swim near or interfere with shark control equipment

• Do not swim with animals​