Two English tourists have been injured in a Shark attack in the Whitsunday Islands, about 30 km off the coast of Queensland. Alistair Raddon, 28, from Southampton, and Danny Maggs, 22, from Plymouth, were reportedly playfighting in the water at the time off the attack, which may have attracted the Shark's attention, resulting in an attack wich resulted in Mr Raddon losing a foot and Mr Maggs receiving severe lacerations to his thigh, though both men survived the attack, due to prompt first aid by two German tourists in the boat that brought them to the islands, and an immediate airlift to a hospital on the mainland.
Danny Maggs, 22, from Plymouth, England, recovering after a Shark attack in Queensland's Whitsunday Islands. Instagram.
Despite their fearsome reputation, attacks by Sharks are relatively rare and most attacks on Humans by Sharks are thought to be mistakes. Tiger Sharks have a diverse diet, including invertebrates, Fish, Birds, Marine Reptiles and Marine Mammals, which we superficially resemble when we enter the water. Marine Mammals are attacked principally for their thick adipose (fat) layers, which are a nutritious high-energy food, but which we lack. Due to this, when Sharks do attack Humans these attacks are often broken off without the victim being consumed. Such attacks frequently result in severe injuries, but are seldom immediately fatal, and victims are likely to survive if they receive immediate medical attention.
There have been ten people injured by Sharks in Australian waters so far this year, with 27 attacks in 2018, resulting in a single fatality. Despite this there have been widespread calls for action to be taken against Sharks in the Australian media, and in particular the instillation of drum lines (baited traps) in areas where Sharks and people have come into conflict, despite warnings by marine biologists that these traps are of little value in preventing attacks. Some press outlets have even gone as far as claiming that such traps have been removed from areas like the Whitsunday Islands, where they have never been used, due to pressure from environmental groups, suggesting that the motivation for the claims may be motivated by politics rather than concerns about public safety.
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