News Queensland Three sharks killed where Qld tourists were mauled

Three sharks killed where Qld tourists were mauled

Eyewitnesses on board nearby boats say two large sharks, one measuring 3.3 metres, were destroyed. Photo: AAP
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Queensland Fisheries officers have caught and shot three large sharks in Cid Harbour on Whitsunday Island after two tourists were attacked earlier this week.

Three baited hooks were set in the area on Friday, with Fisheries Queensland officials catching and killing a pair of two-metre tiger sharks and a 3.3-metre tiger shark on Saturday.

“It is unclear if they were responsible for injuries caused to two swimmers this week,” Fisheries Queensland said in a statement.

“The shark carcasses will be towed well out to sea for disposal.”

The Weekend Australian newspaper says the first two sharks were caught about noon on Saturday, according to sailors on yachts moored nearby, with the third catch coming later in the day.

Fisheries officials gutted the animals to determine their stomach contents and also measured their jaws for comparison with the wounds inflicted in the unprecedented wave of attacks.

“I was watching through binoculars,” said witness David Baddiley, who saw the animals hauled to the surface and shot.

“I thought I saw the head of the shark come up and the I saw the smoke of the gun and spray of the water, then I heard the shot.

“Everyone was out watching it.”

Officers set three baited hooks on Friday in a bid to catch the sharks after the tourists were bitten by a shark at the same location, but in separate attacks.

Melbourne girl, Hannah Papps, was holidaying with her father and sister when she received a life-threatening wound to her right leg on Thursday while swimming in shallow water in Cid Harbour.

Her attack came after Tasmanian mother-of-two, Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area less than 24 hours earlier.

Both have now been transferred to hospitals in Brisbane where the 12-year-old is in a critical but stable condition, and Ms Barwick was last known to be stable.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for Hannah, including the police, emergency services and the hospital teams,” her family said in a statement on Friday.

“We ask that everyone, including the media, please respect our family’s privacy during this very difficult time so we can focus our energies on Hannah’s recovery.”

It is the first time baited hooks have been used in the popular Whitsundays holiday destination, where the tourism industry is still recovering following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

-with AAP 

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