SYDNEY (AFP) – A woman and a child were bitten by a shark in the popular Whitsunday Islands near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef yesterday in the latest of a string of such attacks, reports and officials said.
The Queensland state ambulance service said the pair were rushed to hospital with leg and foot wounds from the attack along a beach on Hamilton Island, but the injuries were not life- threatening.
Local media said the victims were a woman and young child playing in the shallow waters of the island’s Catseye Beach.
It was the latest in a series of shark attacks in waters around the Whitsunday islands, which had been considered safe for swimming.
One man died of his injuries from an attack in November last year, and a 12-year-old girl lost a leg after another mauling in September last year.
Australia has one of the world’s highest incidences of shark attacks, but fatalities remain rare.
There were 20 “unprovoked” shark attacks off the vast continent’s coast in 2018, though only one was fatal, according to data compiled by the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
Hamilton island grabbed global headlines in 2009 when 34,000 people entered a competition to land the ‘Best Job in the World’ – a six-month stint as “caretaker” of the idyllic destination.