A man is recovering in hospital after being bitten by a shark in the Whitsundays on Friday night.
The 34-year-old man had been swimming from a private vessel near Hook Island, about 45km from Airlie Beach.
A CQ Rescue spokeswoman said the man, from Middlemount in Central Queensland, was bitten as he was trying to climb back on board the boat.
She said he did not see the shark as he was climbing onto the boat, and only realised what happened after he felt a bump on the back of his leg.
Queensland Ambulance Service acting senior operational supervisor Julianne Ryalf said paramedics were called just after 6:30pm on Friday.
“QAS received a call for assistance from a vessel approximately 45 minutes offshore,” she said.
“He had been bitten by a shark to the left leg, thigh and shin; the lacerations were deep enough to require stitches.”
Ms Ryalf said bystanders “did excellently” to help the man.
“The patient was in really good condition … conscious, alert and in good condition,” she said.
QAS clinical support officer Peter Gleeson said the situation could have been much worse.
“Any sort of shark bite is taken very seriously, and the results can be quite serious,” he said.
“However, in this instance, it seems like the patient was very lucky indeed.”
He said the event served as a reminder of the dangers of swimming at sunset.
“It’s well known that shark bites and shark feeding time is commonly at that time of day,” he said.
“So to say it was a contributing factor in the attack is reasonable.
“Shark attacks are an extremely rare occurrence.”
The man remains in the Mackay Base Hospital in a stable condition.Internet Explorer Channel Network