British man has foot bitten off in shark attack on snorkelling tour

29 October 2019, 08:05 | Updated: 29 October 2019, 10:22

A British man has lost a foot in a shark attack in Australia
A British man has lost a foot in a shark attack in Australia. Picture: 7 News/PA

By Kate Buck

Two English backpackers have been seriously injured in a shark attack in Australia.

Alistair Raddon, 28, had his foot bitten off in the attack, authorities have said.

Danny Maggs, 22, was also also bitten by the shark and has suffered "serious lacerations to his lower leg"

Both of the victims were flown to hospital and are 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 near the Great Barrier Reef.

They had been snorkelling in the water during a boat trip about seven miles out to sea the time of the attack.

RACQ CQ Rescue, who airlifted the pair to hospital, said that the two men had told crewmen they were "wrestling and thrashing" about in the water when the attack happened.

Alistair Raddon, 28, has lost his foot in the attack
Alistair Raddon, 28, has lost his foot in the attack. Picture: Facebook
Danny Maggs, from Plymouth, has suffered leg lecerations
Danny Maggs, from Plymouth, has suffered leg lecerations. Picture: Facebook

Tracey Eastwick, manager of operations for Queensland Ambulance Service, said that two German backpackers were on-board and administered "extremely important" first aid.

The men were brought to Airlie Beach about 680 miles north of Brisbane on the tour boat, before being airlifted by helicopter around 70 miles to a hospital in the city of Mackay.

ZigZag Whitsundays, who operates the tour the men were on, said: "We are saddened to confirm that two of our guests were injured in a shark attack this morning.

"Our thoughts are with them, their families and the other guests on the tour.

"We are working with authorities to assist in any way we can.

The 28-year-old was snorkelling near the Great Barrier Reef
The 28-year-old was snorkelling near the Great Barrier Reef. Picture: 7 News
This is the 10th unprovoked shark attack in Australia this year
This is the 10th unprovoked shark attack in Australia this year. Picture: PA (file)

"We have suspended our tours for today and will work closely with authorities regarding our upcoming tours."

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.

A spokesman from the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with Australian authorities following reports that two British men have been involved in an incident in Queensland."

According the the Australian Shark Attack file, there have been 10 unprovoked attacks so far this year.

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