Ryan Bowring, 25, was transported to Mackay Base Hospital on Monday after being attacked by a shark in the Whitsundays.
Ryan Bowring, 25, was transported to Mackay Base Hospital on Monday after being attacked by a shark in the Whitsundays. Emma Murray

Crew says grey reef whaler responsible for shark attack

THE victim of Monday's shark attack was in about three metres of water at Block Reef when he was bitten.

Block Reef is about 10 nautical miles from Hardy Reef and the victim, 25-year-old Ryan Bowring, who is originally from Tasmania, was working as a crew member on the luxury yacht DeLisle.

The vessel's management have released a statement, detailing the events before the the incident.

A representative said two crew members got into the water to assess conditions before leading guests on a snorkelling tour of the reef.

They were clearing their masks in about three metres of water when the first mate of the vessel was bitten on the leg by a shark.

They said the crew identified the shark as a grey reef whaler, about 1.5 metres long.

Mr Bowring was immediately returned to the vessel where he received first aid while waiting for emergency services. He was then airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital.

The representative said such incidents were rare and it was likely the animal was startled by the disturbance.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler described Monday's incident as "very unfortunate".

"We are encouraged to hear the young man has remained in a stable condition throughout this incident, and once arriving at the pontoon was able to walk himself to the rescue helicopter," she said.

"We hope the young man involved makes a swift recovery."

Meanwhile, Federal MP George Christensen said he was waiting to see the full details of what occurred, but said he didn't want the incident to be "over-hyped."

He said there needed to be an emphasis on the many people who enjoyed water-based activities in the Whitsundays every day who were not attacked by sharks.

Despite the previous three shark attacks since September, with one resulting in the death of Melbourne doctor, Dan Christidis, Mr Christensen said the attacks were unusual in the region.

"We've had single-digit attacks, it's not a common occurrence and we need to work out what is causing the recent spate of attacks," he said.

"There's been four over a very long period of time," he said.

Mr Christensen said the attacks were isolated incidents in different parts of the Whitsundays.


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