Two tiger sharks have been caught and killed Queensland's Whitsunday Islands after a woman and child were attacked this week.

Baited hooks will remain in place for a week following the two attacks in less than 24 hours.

The two sharks — one measuring 3.3m and the other over 2m — were caught on a single drumline in the Cid Harbour area yesterday.

"While sharks of this size are potentially very dangerous to humans, it is unclear if they were responsible for injuries caused to two swimmers this week," a statement from Department of Agriculture and Fisheries read.


"The shark carcasses will be towed well out to sea for disposal.

"Three drumlines were deployed yesterday in Sawmill Bay. They will remain in place over the next week, with the situation to be reviewed regularly.

"The use of drumlines removes large dangerous sharks from a specific area and reduces the risk to people.

"However people should exercise caution."

The drastic move comes as dramatic new details have emerged of the heroic rescue of a 12-year-old girl originally from New Zealand.

Melbourne-based girl, Hannah Papps, was holidaying with her father and sister when she received a life-threatening wound to her right leg on Thursday while swimming in shallow water in Cid Harbour.

According to rescuers who spoke to the Courier Mail, Hannah showed an incredible display of strength as she was loaded into a helicopter.

Despite horrific leg injuries, she managed to smile at her rescuers and gave them a thumbs-up after the sickening attack.


Her mother, who was away in New Zealand at the time of the attack, rushed to Queensland following the news.

"We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for Hannah, including the police, emergency services and the hospital teams," a statement from her parents read.

"As at 5pm, Friday, 21 September, Hannah is in a critical but stable condition.

"We ask that everyone please respect our family's privacy during this very difficult time so we can focus our energies on Hannah's recovery."

Her mauling came after Tasmanian mother of two, Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area a day earlier.

Both have now been transferred to hospitals in Brisbane where the 12-year-old is in a critical but stable condition and Ms Barwick is stable.

Fisheries Queensland set three baited drum lines in the harbour on Friday at Sawmill Bay.

The department's shark control program manager Jeff Krause said it was too early to determine what species of shark was responsible for the first attacks in the area in eight years.

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

It is the first time baited hooks have been used in the popular holiday spot, where the tourism industry is still recovering following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

The area is expected to be inundated with tourists in the coming weeks with school holidays starting in Queensland this week.

Queensland Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause described the attacks as "unprecedented".

"The priority is to reduce the current risk of dangerous sharks being in the immediate area," Mr Krause said.

"While shark control equipment does not provide an impenetrable barrier between swimmers and sharks, it is effective in reducing the overall number of sharks in the area, making it a safer place to swim."