November 5, 2018 / 11:23 PM / 15 days ago

Australian man dies after shark attack in popular tourist area

SYDNEY (Reuters) - A man died after he was attacked by a shark in waters off Australia’s tropical northeast coast on Monday, police said, the third attack in the popular tourist region in the last two months.

The 33-year-old Australian man was paddle boarding and then swimming off a chartered yacht in the Whitsunday Islands’ Cid Harbor when he was bitten by a shark at around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, a police spokesman said.

The attack follows two others in the same area in September, when a 12-year-old girl and a 46-year-old man suffered severe injuries from shark attacks while swimming on two consecutive days.

“The man was then relayed to the shore before being transported to Mackay Hospital where he later passed away,” the spokesman said in a statement.

Australia ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark encounters with humans in 2017, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.

The man bitten on Monday suffered severe injuries in his legs and arm, and was resuscitated before being transferred to hospital, a spokesman for the Queensland Ambulance Service said.

The Whitsunday Islands is a popular tourist site 900 km (560 miles) northwest of the state capital Brisbane. Until now, shark attacks in the area had been very rare, a spokesman said.

Following the September incidents, four tiger sharks were culled and aquatic traps were laid out by the Queensland government, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

(This story has been refilled to correct typo in first paragraph)

Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Sandra Maler and Michael Perry

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