A shark has killed a 17-year-old boy at a reef off the tourist town of Port Douglas in Queensland’s far north.
The boy was swimming at Rudder Reef when he was mauled by the shark about 11.30am (AEST).
It’s understood the victim was a local. The boy suffered a serious injury to his thigh and despite others administering CPR and the use of a defibrillator on a boat, he could not be saved.
An ambulance service spokesman will address the media in Cairns at 3pm (AEST).
Veteran diver Col McKenzie, who also heads the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, told AAP Rudder Reef was not a common spot for dive tourism operators.
But he said it was popular with spear fishing enthusiasts, and there was a fatal shark attack at nearby Opal Reef almost a decade ago to the day.
Spearfisherman Mark Thompson, 38, died from a heart attack soon after being attacked by a shark December 11, 2004.
St Crispin’s reef separates Opal and Rudder reefs, and there is little distance between them.
Mr McKenzie said spear fishers who were attacked by sharks typically suffered thigh injuries because they often tucked bait into their weight belts.
“A lot of people do spear fish in that area but whether that’s what’s happened here, I don’t know,” the Cairns resident said.