English tourists in shark attack identified
WHAT WE KNOW:
- Two men have been bitten by a shark in Hook Passage
- Both sustained serious lower leg injuries
- Rescue helicopter landed at Whitsunday Sports Park to transport them to hospital
- Attack comes almost a year since Daniel Christidis was killed by a shark on November 5, 2018
UPDATE 5PM: The two English tourists injured in today's shark attacks have been identified as Alistair Raddon, 28 and Danny Maggs, 22, by news.com.au.
The pair remain in Mackay Base Hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said the 28-year-old man whose foot was severed was in a stable condition, but with a serious injury.
The 22-year-old man also involved in the attack is in a stable condition.
UPDATE 2PM: TOUR company ZigZag Whitsundays confirmed the two men were travelling on one of the company's tours.
The company has also suspended all of its tours today.
In a post to its Facebook the company said it was saddened to confirm the attack and had the family and friends of the men in its thoughts.
"We are working with authorities to assist in any way we can," the post said.
"We would like to thank the VMR and RACQ CQ Rescue chopper for their immediate response."
UPDATE 1.20PM: A DAY trip to Hook Passage in the Whitsundays has turned into tragedy after two men were mauled by a shark.
An English tourist had his foot bitten off by a shark and another suffered serious lacerations to his lower leg while swimming.
The attack happened about 11km from Cid Harbour, where three tourists were attacked by sharks last year.
RACQ CQ Rescue has airlifted the two Englishmen, believed to be in their 30s, to Mackay Base Hospital, both arriving in a serious but stable condition at 12.40pm.
The Mackay-based rescue helicopter was tasked about 10.30am and touched down on the Whitsunday PCYC oval in Airlie Beach about 11am.
The two men were transported from Hook Passage back to the mainland by boat, a 20-minute trip, and taken by ambulance from Coral Sea Marina to the Whitsunday Sports Park to meet the rescue helicopter with a doctor, Critical Care Paramedic and rescue crewman on board.
An RACQ CQ Rescue crewman said one of the men had his foot amputated in the attack, while the other suffered serious lacerations to his calf.
The helicopter had to be reconfigured for a dual stretcher transfer and was on the ground in Airlie Beach for about 40 minutes while the patients were transported to the oval from the marina and prepared for the flight.
Both were conscious and had been given pain relief by paramedics on scene.
UPDATE 1PM: TWO British backpackers are understood to be the victims of this morning's shark attack in the Whitsundays, with one tragically losing his foot in the incident.
Queensland Ambulance Service's Tracey Eastwick said the pair was on a day trip in the Whitsundays when the attack occurred.
She said it was believed one man was attacked first, before the shark returned and attacked the other.
Ms Eastwick said one man had his foot amputated in the attack.
Bystanders administered first aid to the victims,before emergency services were called.
An English tourist has had his foot bitten off and another has serious lacerations to his lower leg after a shark attack in the Whitsundays today. Both were transported to Mackay Base Hospital by #RACQ #CQRescue in a serious but stable condition.— RACQ CQ Rescue (@cq_rescue) October 29, 2019
UPDATE 12.30PM: Whitsunday Police Senior Sergeant Nathan Blain confirmed the two men, aged in their 30s were passengers on a day tour, with the incident occurring just off Whitsunday Island in Hook Passage.
"They suffered serious injuries to their lower limbs which will require hospital treatment," he said.
It has been confirmed the men were on a ZigZag Whitsundays day tour.
ZigZag Whitsundays have been contacted for comment, and a spokesman said Tourism Whitsundays would be releasing a statement later today.
Tourism Whitsunday CEO Tash Wheeler said her main priority was to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those involved in the incident.
UPDATE 12.15PM: The two men are have been loaded into the rescue chopper, and are on their way to Mackay Base Hospital in a serious condition, following a shark bite incident in Hook Passage.
Both men sustained severe lacerations to their feet in the attack.
UPDATE 11.30AM: It has been reported the two men, both aged in their 30s, were on a day tour with Whitsundays operator ZigZag when they were bitten by a shark.
It is reported the incident occurred in Hook Passage - about 11km from Cid Harbour.
A rescue helicopter has landed at Whitsunday Sports Park to transfer the men to hospital.
Queensland Ambulance Services are reporting both men have suffered serious lower limb injuries.
Paramedics were initially called to the scene at 10.22am and the men were picked up from Coral Sea Marina.
UPDATE 11.10am: Two men are in a serious condition and are being transported by road from Coral Sea Marina after reported shark bites in the Whitsundays.
Queensland Ambulance Services is reporting both men are on the on the way to a location on Proserpine Shute Harbour Rd where they will meet with the rescue helicopter.
The two men, both aged in their 30s, suffered from lower limb injuries and are in a serious condition.
"The male patients are back on land now. One patient's stable and the other they're still assessing. They're both conscious and breathing," a Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said.
One man has reportedly suffered serious lacerations to his foot.
The RACQ CQ Rescue Chopper has been tasked.
INITIAL 10.45am: RACQ CQ Rescue and paramedics have been tasked to unconfirmed reports of shark bites in the Whitsundays.
A Queensland Ambulance Services spokesperson said they received a call this morning.
The spokesperson said two people had received bites to their legs, and an ambulance was en route to Coral Sea Marina to meet the vessel.
An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said the rescue chopper had been tasked to pick up two patients off a vessel.
"One is believed to be quite serious, and the other not as serious," the spokeswoman said.
More to come.