A walked away largely unscathed after he was bitten by a shovelnose shark in shallow waters on the Great Barrier Reef.
The man, aged in his 30s, suffered minor injuries to his right hand and leg during the attack at North West Island, at the southern end of the reef, about 1pm on Monday.
The ocean predator barely drew any blood during the startling encounter.
“Initial reports were there was a middle-aged male who had suffered a shark attack and was requiring (medical assistance),” Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Alistair Vagg said.
“The patient was bitten by a shovelnose shark and suffered minor lacerations to his lower limbs and hand.”
The man was flown to the Gladstone Hospital in a stable condition, where he was able to walk from the helicopter for further treatment.
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A Queensland government fisheries website said the shark is also known as an eastern or banks shovelnose ray, which commonly grows to about 120cm and is mainly found inshore in lower estuaries and off beaches.
The shovelnose is named for its large and flat triangular head.
In October two British backpackers were attacked by a shark while snorkelling at Hook Island in the Whitsunday Islands.
One of the men lost their foot.
In March a 25-year-old man suffered serious thigh injuries when a shark attacked him at Hardy Reef, near Hamilton island, which is also in the Whitsunday Islands chain.
It followed a fatal shark attack on Victorian doctor Daniel Christidis, 33, in November 2018 in Cid Harbour at Whitsunday Island.
On September 20, 2018, 12-year-old Hannah Papps from Melbourne received a life-threatening wound to her right leg while swimming in the same harbour.
A day earlier, Tasmanian Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area.