News National Man dies after being mauled by shark off North West Island
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Man dies after being mauled by shark off North West Island

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef at Gladstone, near where the attack occurred. Photo: Getty
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A man has died after being bitten by a shark in waters off the Great Barrier Reef.

The 23-year-old had been swimming with friends on Monday afternoon when the shark took hold of his leg and bit his hand and elbow.

It’s believed the attack occurred as the man was attempting to swim back to the group’s charter boat, which was moored off North West Island.

A paramedic and doctor flew by helicopter from the mainland to the island where they prepared the victim to be flown back to Gladstone Hospital.

He arrived at the hospital in a critical condition. His health deteriorated throughout the night and he was pronounced dead just after 10pm (Queensland time).

North West Island is the largest coral cay in a string of islands and part of the Capricorn Cays National Park.

A camping ground is the only permanent facility on the island and visitors are required to take their own water.

The Courier Mail reported it is the third shark attack at North West Island in three months, and the latest of a spate on the Great Barrier Reef in recent years.

Authorities have not provided details on what kind of shark they believe was responsible for biting the man on Monday.

-with AAP