Tourists critical after two shark attacks

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A young girl mauled by a shark in the Whitsundays is believed to be from New Zealand.

The latest attack, which left the girl with a serious leg injury, occurred at Cid Harbour, off Whitsunday Island in the state of Queensland, on Thursday afternoon.

The mother of two is in critical condition in the same Mackay Base Hospital after overnight surgery.

Within hours of the second attack, Fisheries Minister Mark Furner announced he had activated special provisions to set up three drum lines in the area today.

The attack followed the dramatic rescue of a 46-year-old woman, Justine Barwick, who was bitten by a shark while swimming at dusk from a yacht in the same area on Wednesday evening.

"Her status at the moment could be called critical until further information is released".

A QAS spokeswoman said the paramedic, from Hamilton Island, hopped on board a Water Police vessel and was taken to Cid Harbour.

In a stroke of luck a rescue helicopter scrambled to the region was just 15 minutes away from the scene due to an earlier operation they'd been undertaking.

Mr Macdonald contacted the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter on the radio to co-ordinate what needed to be done for her to be picked up from the boat.

Paramedics and the RACQ CQ Rescue crew arriving at Mackay Base Hospital with the 12-year-old girl who was mauled by the shark.

"We're are also working with relevant government agencies in relation to both incidents", Mr Vanek said in a statement on Friday.

Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause said the drumlines had helped keep swimmers safe from Gladstone to Cairns.

It's understood she was bleeding heavily from the leg injury when she was pulled from the water. The two victims are in critical condition in the same hospital.

The RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter is circling overhead at the moment.

"I've dived with sharks and it's never been an issue". "That's why these events are so shocking".

Chief executive Douglass Doherty, of Family Based Care Tasmania, where Mrs Barwick works, said she is an avid snorkeller and was on an annual trip to the Whitsundays.