Destinations

Airlie Beach shark attack: tourist loses foot, thought his mate was grabbing his leg

Two tourists are in a stable condition after a shark attack in the Whitsundays, according to officials.

Englishmen Alistair Raddon, 28, and Danny Maggs, 22, have been attacked by a shark while snorkelling in Hook Passage yesterday.

Both men are in a stable condition after Raddon underwent surgery after losing his foot. He reportedly told emergency authorities that initially, he thought it was his friend grabbing his leg.

“He basically said they were wrestling in the water at the time and he thought his mate grabbed him by the leg really hard, turned around and saw there was blood in the water and realised he was getting bitten by a shark,” CQ Rescue Helicopter Service crewman Grant Bollington told ABC News.

Bollington added, the pair were in good spirits while they were in the helicopter.

“When we were loading the gentlemen into the chopper, it might have all been coming to the gentleman who lost his foot of what actually happened and it was obvious when we landed his spirits picked back up again.”

Tourism Whitsundays issued a statement yesterday following the incident and said its thoughts are with the welfare of the pair.

“[On Tuesday] morning at 10:26am AEST there was an incident involving two people in Hook Passage, we believe this was a shark incident,” the organisation said.

“Our first thoughts are with the two people involved in the incident and their welfare; as well as the other passengers and crew on the boat. On board the vessel were two passengers who are paramedics and provided immediate first aid.

“Immediate counselling support was arranged for the passengers and crew, their welfare is also our priority. We would also like to commend the lightning response of our first responders and emergency services,” the organisation said.

“Their efforts have ensured the two people have been able to receive expert medical treatment very quickly.

“Queensland Ambulance Service has advised that both people are in a serious but stable condition, with non-life threating injuries,” the organisation said.



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