A 12-year-old girl who was mauled by a shark and remains in a critical condition in hospital gave a brave gesture as she was loaded into a rescue helicopter.
Rescuers have described how the girl, who has been identified as Hannah Papps, smiled and gave a thumbs up as she was loaded into the helicopter at the Whitsunday Islands at around lunch time.
Rescuers said that Hannah was ‘brave’ and ‘stoic’ in the face of horrific injuries, the Courier-Mail reports.
A local fisherman has warned that there may be more attacks, after seeing swarms of sharks in the same area.
The 12-year-old girl who was mauled by a shark on Thursday gave a brave thumbs up as she was loaded into the rescue helicopter
Spectacular images of the second life-saving shark attack rescue mission in as many days in the Whitsundays have been captured by a helicopter paramedics’ body-cam
The shark attack came less than 24 hours after another incident in the same stretch of water around Cid Harbour
Hannah was treated for 20 minutes on the beach, having sustained ‘fairly large wounds with artery and bones, vessels, (and a) large haemorrhage’ according to Queensland Ambulance Service’s Tracey Eastwick.
Paramedics have described how the girl put on a brave face and even gave them a smile and a thumbs up as she was being loaded into the helicopter.
Hannah underwent surgery on Thursday night and continues to fight for her life in hospital.
Her family issued a statement on Friday afternoon saying that their daughter is now in a critical but stable condition at Queensland Children’s Hospital.
The family also thanked the emergency services for looking after the schoolgirl.
‘We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for Hannah, including the police, emergency services and the hospital teams,’ the statement said.
‘We ask that everyone, including the media, please respect our family’s privacy during this very difficult time so we can focus our energies on Hannah’s recovery.’
A local fisherman has claimed that he saw a swarm of over 1000 sharks close to where two attacks within 24 hours occurred.
Tasmanian holidaymaker Justine Barwick (pictured) is in a critical condition after she was attacked at Whitsundays on Wednesday evening
Ron Brennan has claimed that in his 30 years of working out at sea, he had never seen so many sharks as when he did on Tuesday and Wednesday nights near Cid Harbour.
‘There were hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, black-tip sharks, then we had our standard tiger sharks,’ Ron Brennan told the Courier Mail.
‘They were eating other sharks out of the net.’
The shark attack came less than 24 hours after another incident in the same stretch of water around Cid Harbour, Queensland.
Tasmanian holidaymaker Justine Barwick, 45, is in a critical condition after she was attacked at Whitsundays while swimming near a yacht on Wednesday evening.
The passing yacht found the woman with life-threatening bites to her right thigh, and helped her out of the water.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, CEO for Family Based Care North West Doug Doherty confirmed it was his colleague who was the victim of the first attack.
He said she had been holidaying with her husband, Craig, and friends for less than two weeks when the incident happened.
‘Justine is a fighter, a fit, resilient woman who is an outstanding leader in the aged and disability care sectors,’ he said.
Ms Barwick has since been transferred from Mackay Hospital in Queensland to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
The bite left Ms Barwick with a significant gash in her right upper thigh, local paramedics told The Mercury.
By the time she was pulled from the water, she was rapidly losing blood.
However, by pure coincidence, one of her rescuers was an emergency department doctor, whose actions saved her life.
Ms Barwick has since been transferred from Mackay Hospital in Queensland to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital where she is being attended to by expert vascular and plastic surgeons.
There hasn’t been a fatal shark attack in Queensland since 2014 when 18-year-old Daniel Smith was attacked by a tiger shark near Rudder Reef near Port Douglas.
He suffered a bite to the upper thigh and died within minutes of being pulled from the water.
In January 2006, 21-year-old Sarah Whiley was mauled by a trio of bull sharks, who attacked her in waist-deep water at Amity Point, north Stadbroke Island.
Ms Whiley lost both her arms in the attack and later died from massive blood loss.
In 2017, a father-of-two from Cairns lost his right leg and almost died when he was mauled by a shark while spearfishing off Hinchinbrook Island.
The Whitsunday Islands is popular swimming destinations in Queensland.
Authorities have warned the public that the waters in the vicinity of Cid Harbour and Samwill Bay are not yet safe to swim in.
The shark or sharks responsible for the attacks are yet to be caught. Fisheries Queensland have set up three baited drumlines in the harbour in a bid to catch the animals.
A local fisherman claims that he had never seen so many sharks as when he did on Tuesday and Wednesday nights near Cid Harbour
Shark control equipment was deployed at Sawmill Bay (pictured) following the attacks