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Shark Kills Tourist on Great Barrier Reef

It was 3rd attack in area in 7 weeks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2018 12:35 AM CST
In this Nov. 5, 2018, image made from video, a victim of a shark attack is wheeled on stretcher by paramedics after a rescue helicopter transporting him landed at Mackay Base Hospital helicopter platform...   (Channel 7/Channel 9 via AP)

(Newser) – A shark has killed a man in an island harbor on Australia's Great Barrier Reef where two tourists were mauled on consecutive days in September. The spate of attacks has left authorities struggling to explain an apparent escalation in danger in an internationally-renowned vacation destination, the AP reports. The 33-year-old victim was among 10 friends who set out from Airlie Beach on the Queensland state mainland on Monday morning on a rented yacht to sail themselves on a five-day cruise through the idyllic Whitsunday Islands, Police Inspector Steve O'Connell says. They anchored 14 miles from Airlie Beach in Cid Harbor, intending to spend their first night in the popular, protected anchorage on Whitsunday Island, the uninhabited largest island in the group, he says.

The victim was taking turns with a woman standing on a paddle board or swimming in the harbor late Monday afternoon. He had dived into the water to give the woman her turn on the board when he was attacked, O'Connell says. French-speaking tourists launched a dinghy from another yacht and rescued the man, O'Connell says. They brought the victim to his own yacht, where most of the group had medical backgrounds, including two doctors. "Despite their best efforts, the injuries were too severe," O'Connell says. A 46-year-old tourist, Justine Barwick, was attacked on Sept. 19 while swimming from a yacht in Cid Harbor and is recovering. A 12-year-old tourist, Hannah Papps, was attacked in the same harbor while swimming from a yacht the next day, losing a leg. (After this attack in California, the shark followed rescuers.)

(Read more shark attack stories.)

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