A British tourist has lost a foot in an Australian shark attack

A British snorkeller had his foot bitten off by a shark while he was swimming off the coast of some Australian islands.

The 28 year old was with another man, 22, who was also injured in the waters of Hook Passage in the Whitsunday Islands in northern Queensland. Hook Passage is a popular area for watersports.

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The pair were rescued by boat, and brought seven miles back to the town of Airlie Beach to be attended to by paramedics.

An English tourist has had his foot bitten off and another has serious lacerations to his lower leg after a shark attack in the Whitsundays today. Both were transported to Mackay Base Hospital by #RACQ #CQRescue in a serious but stable condition.

— RACQ CQ Rescue (@cq_rescue) October 29, 2019

They were then flown by helicopter to the city of Mackay, around 600 miles north of Brisbane, where they are reportedly in a serious but stable condition.

The Associated Press reported that the older man had lost his right foot, while the other suffered lacerations to his calf.

‘Lightning response’

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RACQ CQ Rescue, which airlifted the men to hospital, said that they had been told that the men had been thrashing around in the water when the attack took place.

They were picked up by a boat with two German backpackers on board, who were able to give the injured men first aid.

Tracey Eastwick, manager of operations for Queensland Ambulance Service, said, "It was fortunate that we understand there was two German paramedics on-board the vessel at the time, who were able to render first aid.

"Certainly any first aid in those sorts of circumstances, with those injuries, is extremely important."

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Tour operator ZigZag Whitsundays confirmed that two people had been injured on one of their excursions, and announced that it was suspending tours for the rest of the day.

A statement from Tourism Whitsundays said, "Our first thoughts are with the two people involved in the incident and their welfare; as well as the other passengers and crew on the boat.

"Immediate counselling support was arranged for the passengers and crew, their welfare is also our priority.

"We would also like to commend the lightning response of our first responders and emergency services."