Man Dies After Being Bitten by Shark Near Great Barrier Reef

April 7, 2020 Updated: April 7, 2020

A 23-year-old man has died after a shark bit him near the Great Barrier Reef on April 6.

The man was bitten by a shark while swimming with others off North West Island, according to police in Queensland, Australia.

Tragedy struck as the group headed back to their charter vessel, police said. Members of the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service attended the scene.

Queensland Police added in a statement: “A doctor and paramedics responded to the scene and treated the man on board the vessel before he was transported to Gladstone Hospital.

“The man sustained life-threatening injuries to his leg, hand and elbow. He succumbed to those injuries just after 10 p.m.”

Epoch Times Photo
This file image shows a bull shark at the Oceanarium in Le Croisic, western France on December 6, 2016. (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

A police report is being prepared for the coroner.

The victim worked as a ranger for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).

According to a statement from QPWS, the man was on North West Island “with colleagues, to complete maintenance works as part of the QPWS essential works program.”

The online statement continued: “Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to the family, loved ones and friends of our dear colleague. Support has been organised for all those impacted by this tragedy.”

Annastacia Palaszczuk, the state premier, expressed her sympathy on Twitter.

North West Island, a popular spot for walking, diving, snorkelling and fishing, is located about 46 miles off the coast of the city of Gladstone, Queensland.

It’s the third reported shark attack in the area since December 30, according to CNN affiliate, 7 News.

A nine-year-old girl was bitten on her leg in January. Days before, a 30-year-old man was also bitten on his leg and sustained minor injuries. Both survived.

In October, a British tourist lost a foot after being bitten by a shark near Airlie Beach in Queensland. He and another Brit were attacked while on a snorkelling trip to the nearby Whitsunday Islands.

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