A 29-year-old woman was bitten by a shark while taking a day off from filming a shark documentary in Far North Queensland, Australia.
The filmmaker was snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, about 100 metres off Fitzroy Island near Cairns, when the shark struck. Bystanders, including doctors, provided first aid until paramedics arrived and airlifted the woman to Cairns hospital.
“I still love sharks!” she shouted as she was wheeled into the helicopter. “Sharks are beautiful!”
Emergency crews have confirmed the woman is now in a stable condition, although her injuries are significant, including deep lacerations to her lower left leg and a possible ankle fracture. Paramedic Terry Cumming said the woman was “in a little bit of pain, but managed to get it under control”.
"She only saw [the shark] for a couple of seconds so couldn't identify it," he told the ABC. "She was relaxing on Fitzroy Island. She's actually … doing a shark documentary and this is her day off today."
It’s understood the woman is now undergoing extensive specialist treatment.
“She's great,” said Cumming. “She's in there smiling and very happy."
It is the third shark attack to take place in Australian waters in nine days. A 15-year-old boy died on Saturday after he was bitten by a shark while surfing off the coast of northern New South Wales. A week earlier, a 36-year-old man died after being attacked by a shark while spearfishing off Fraser Island, just north of Brisbane.
Fitzroy Island Resort CEO Glen Macdonald said he was not aware of any shark attacks having been reported at Fitzroy Island in the past.