A shark killed a man in an island harbour on Australia's Great Barrier Reef where two tourists were mauled on consecutive days in September in a spate of attacks that has left authorities struggling to explain an apparent escalation in danger in an internationally renowned vacation destination.
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.
"The man was then relayed to the shore before being transported to Mackay Hospital where he later passed away", the spokesman said in a statement.
Until now, shark attacks in the area had been very rare, a spokesman said.
Queensland Assembly member for Whitsunday, Jason Costigan, described the absence of permanent drum lines as "madness".
Both swimmers were pulled from the water by French tourists on another boat, who were the first to respond to the incident.
The species of sharks involved in the attacks have not been identified.
All three attacks occurred in Cid Harbour, a picturesque bay surrounded by beaches in a popular tourist area on the north coast of Queensland.
"Definitely one of the more hard ones for everyone involved", McCauley said.
"They all have different feeding strategies, however all of those sharks like and enjoy to take things on the surface because when it attacks it prey has now here to go whereas when it's in the water it has 360 degrees to escape".
Tasmanian mother of two Justine Barwick, 46, was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling in the same area on September 19 and underwent 18 hours of surgery. A 12-year-old tourist, Hannah Papps, was attacked in the same harbor the next day, losing a leg.
Many in the area are now calling on the state government of Queensland to implement baited drum lines and shark nets to prevent further attacks.
"We have to make an assumption it was a tiger given the amount of tigers they caught in Cid Harbour following the last attack", Mr Long said.
Mr Furner said he had also heard anecdotal evidence of people dumping food from yachts, which was attracting sharks.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the government was committed to working with industry representatives and the local community.
"I believe the message we want to get across is don't swim in Cid Harbour".
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