He was the third person to have been attacked by a shark at Cid Harbour in less than two months.
RACQ CQ Rescue airlifted the middle-aged man, believed to be a tourist, to Mackay Base Hospital in a critical condition with horrific injuries including bites to his left inner thigh, right calf and left wrist.
The helicopter was called to the scene just before nightfall, and landed on the foreshore of Whitsunday Island to assist. The on-board paramedic was taken to a nearby boat where the injured man was being treated.
RACQ CQ Rescue crewman Ben McCauley described the scene and the man’s injuries as “absolutely horrific”.
“He’d suffered very serious bites, significant blood loss as well as cardiac arrest and when we arrived he was already being treated by a paramedic from Hamilton Island, two off-duty doctors and an emergency department nurse from other nearby vessels,” Mr McCauley said.
In less than 45 minutes, the critically ill man was resuscitated twice and transferred back to shore, accompanied by the paramedic and rescue crewman. He was loaded into the helicopter and flown directly to Mackay Base Hospital arriving in a critical condition at 8pm, but later died of his injuries.
On 19 September, a 46 year old Tasmanian tourist was mauled by a shark and just 24 hours later, a 12 year old Victorian girl was also attacked while swimming at Cid Harbour. Both survived and were airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital by RACQ CQ Rescue.
Mr McCauley said the latest shark attack was “just totally unbelievable” and “the worst one yet”.