Australian Man Killed In Third Shark Attack In Popular Tourist Area

Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays

Rescue workers said the man suffered serious wounds to his legs and one arm in the attack, which happened on Monday afternoon in the Whitsunday islands off Queensland state.

Despite the three deadly attacks, Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones rejected calls for permanent aquatic drum lines in Cid Harbour, saying the measure would not guarantee swimmer safety.

"During this holiday period, we urge people to exercise caution, stay out of the water and not throw food scraps overboard from boats", the department said.

A man has died following a shark attack in the Whitsunday Island's Cid Harbour, where two others were mauled in the space of 24 hours in September.

Craig Barwick, the husband of Cid Harbour shark attack survivor Justine Barwick, has said previously while drum lines were an understandable solution, sharks play an important role in the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef.

There were more than a dozen yachts in the harbour at the time.

Most of the victim's company were people with medical background, including two doctors, who brought him back to his yacht to seek help.

Once he was stabilised he was airlifted by the helicopter to Mackay Base Hospital.

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All three attacks occurred in Cid Harbour, a picturesque bay surrounded by beaches in a popular tourist area on the north coast of Queensland.

Rescue helicopter crewman Ben McCauley told reporters the scene was "gruesome".

A 12-year-old girl and a 46-year-old woman were mauled by sharks in unprovoked attacks, but both managed to survive.

(AAP) Shark control equipment is deployed at Sawmill Bay after two shark attacks in the Whitsundays.

The last shark attack in the Whitsunday Islands before the latest spate occurred on February 13, 2010, off Dent Island where 60-year-old tourist Patricia Trumbull survived lacerations to her buttocks and major blood loss.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly had said at the time that the Trumbull attack was the third ever recorded in the islands and the first in 13 years.

"We need to be looking at the baitfish movement, we need to be looking at the water conditions ... any other factors that might be happening in that area that is obviously changing shark activity", Dr Chapman said. "We simply do not know why this is occurring and what is responsible for it".

Following those attacks, local authorities conducted a culling of sharks in the area, capturing and killing at least four, including a 3.7 metre tiger shark.

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