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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020
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A shark has bitten off an English man's foot on the Australian coast

There were 27 shark attacks in Australian waters last year.

Sharks in the water.
Sharks in the water.
Image: Shutterstock/solarseven

AN ENGLISH MAN has had his foot bitten off in a shark attack on the north-eastern coast of Australia today, authorities have said.

Another British person has “serious lacerations to his lower leg” from the incident, according to Central Queensland Rescue, which said both men had been taken to hospital in “a serious but stable condition”.

Local media reported the men were attacked while in the water near Hook Passage, a body of water between Whitsunday Island and Hook Island off the east coast of the country which is popular with snorkelers.

One of the men was in his early 20s and the other in his late 20s, paramedics said. 

“One of the patients was attacked first and the shark was believed to [have] come back” to attack the second, Queensland ambulance service operations manager Tracey Eastwick told reporters.

The men were taken on a tour boat to Airlie Beach, about 1,000 kilometres north of Brisbane, before being airlifted by helicopter around 110 kilometres to a hospital in the city of Mackay.

There have been numerous shark attacks in the Whitsunday island group in recent years, including a fatal incident at Cid Harbour involving a 33-year-old man last November.

There were 27 shark attacks in the country’s waters in 2018, according to data compiled by Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

However, tens of millions of people visit Australian beaches each year and shark attacks remain rare. 

With reporting from © AFP 2019 

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