Shark attacks 12 year old girl in Australia

The Whitsunday Islands are off the Queensland coast

The Whitsunday Islands are off the Queensland coast

Australia ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark encounters with humans in 2017, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Rescuers were called to Cid Harbour at Whitsunday Island, near the Great Barrier Reef, and found the girl with leg injuries.

The girl, who was with her father and sister when she was attacked, was given pain relief and three pints of blood on the flight to hospital.

The mother of two is in a critical condition in the same Mackay Base Hospital following overnight surgery.

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

No further information was available at the time of writing.

"I was very anxious that I might find severe bleeding still going".

A rescue helicopter was dispatched to the area about 1.45pm.

The RACQ CQ Rescue has confirmed the patient is a woman, not a man as initially reported.

An RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter spokeswoman earlier said the people the woman was with displayed heroism before the rescue crew arrived.

A 12-year-old girl was bitten on the leg by a shark while swimming at Cid Harbour in Australia's Whitsunday Islands and flown to Mackay Base Hospital
Image The 12-year-old was taken to Mackay Base Hospital

It's understood she was bleeding heavily from a leg injury when she was pulled from the water.

"I assumed she had been run over by a boat".

"It was immediately clear to me that Justine had been severely injured".

"She was aware she was in a awful situation and frightened, but never hysterical".

"There was a doctor on scene, but apparently the people that she'd been with that have got her on to the boat and have packed her wounds to stop the haemorrhaging are the ones who really saved her life", she said.

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

"Restricted by the lack of an open deck and the yacht's high mast, it took the pilot quite a while to find somewhere safe to hover but Justine's husband and best friend were calm, in control and able to help".

The 12-year-old girl arrives at Mackay Base Hospital.

The woman is airlifted by RACQ CQ Rescue.

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