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Queensland fatal shark attack: Third incident in tourist spot

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Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays

Shark control equipment had been temporarily placed in Cid Harbour following the first two attacks but was removed on September 27 after the potentially unsafe sharks were removed.

Cid Harbour, located in north Queensland's idealic tourism hotspot the Whitsunday Islands, has recently become notorious for shark attacks following the mauling of two people in September this year.

The 33-year-old Victorian man was reportedly swimming off a private vessel just after 5.30pm local time (8.30pm NZ Time) on Monday when he was attacked, resulting in significant leg and wrist injuries.

Prof Colin Simpfendorfer, from James Cook University, said shark attacks were "extremely rare" in the Whitsundays, but no theories had "so far been supported by real substantial information" to understand the spike in shark activity.

He was savaged while taking turns to paddleboard with a female friend during the late afternoon.

O'Connell said that this year's three major attacks remain an anomaly for the area.

French-speaking tourists launched a dinghy from their yacht and pulled Christidis to his own yacht, where most of the group had medical backgrounds, including two doctors.

The victim was taken by helicopter to the Mackay Base Hospital, 100km to the south, where he died.

The species of sharks involved in the attacks have not yet been identified and Water Police and fishing boats were patrolling Cid Harbour on Tuesday, advising tourists on yachts to keep out of the water, O'Connell said.

RACQ CQ Rescue crewman Ben McCauley said the man's injuries were "absolutely horrific".

In September, two shark attacks occurred within a day of each other.

A 46-year-old tourist, Justine Barwick, was attacked on September 19 while swimming from a yacht in Cid Harbor and is recovering.

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

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.

They are baited hook lines which catch sharks and other marine life, which then die or are later killed by fisheries officers.

"We are talking about a very vast area and certainly I would hate that the message got out that it was safe to swim in the Whitsundays when we can't guarantee that safety", Ms Jones said on Tuesday.

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