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Two shark attacks in 24 hours on Australia's Whitsunday Islands

Two people, including a young girl, have been attacked by sharks in separate incidents in the same harbor in...

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 11:27 AM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 11:27 AM

Two people, including a young girl, have been attacked by sharks in separate incidents in the same harbor in Australia's Whitsunday Islands in the past 24 hours.

Both attacks occurred in Cid Harbour, a picturesque bay surrounded by beaches in a popular tourist area on the north coast of Queensland.

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The most recent attack occurred late Thursday when a 12-year-old girl was bitten on the leg.

"Paramedics are treating a female child in a serious condition with a significant leg injury after being bitten by a shark in waters near Cid Harbour," the Queensland Ambulance Service tweeted.

"A critical care paramedic is at the scene with the RACQ CQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) helicopter."

Less than a day earlier a 46-year-old woman was bitten at the same location.

Tasmanian tourist Justine Barwick suffered a major injury to her upper left thigh in the attack Wednesday afternoon. The shark bite left her bleeding profusely, CNN affiliate Seven News reported.

She was airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. The two victims are in critical condition in the same hospital.

Excluding the two most recent attacks, there have been 33 recorded cases of shark bites in Australia so far in 2018, according to the Australian Shark Attack File of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia. Of these, two people died.

Fisheries Queensland released a statement Thursday saying a fisheries vessel is patrolling the harbor, advising people not to swim in the area.

On Friday, a Queensland Shark Control Program contractor will deploy three shark control drumlines -- a system of buoys "designed to remove larger, dangerous sharks from an area," according to the Fisheries spokesman.

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