English tourist has foot bitten off in shark attack at Australian snorkelling hotspot

An English tourist has had his foot bitten off in a shark attack on the north-eastern coast of Australia.

Another Briton has "serious lacerations to his lower leg" from the incident, according to Central Queensland Rescue.

It said the two men, named in Australian news reports as Alistair Raddon, 28 and Danny Maggs, 22, had been taken to hospital in "a serious but stable condition".

Tracey Eastwick, manager of operations for Queensland Ambulance Service, said the shark attacked one of the backpackers before turning its attention on the other.

“The first patient is 22 years of age and has a calf injury - laceration to his right calf,” she said.

“The second patient is 28 years of age and he received an amputation to his right foot.”

Two British men have been attacked by a shark while in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia (Picture: Getty)

Mr Maggs’ mother Rachel, currently on holiday in Malta, told Mail Online: “We’re in shock and we’re thousands of miles away so can’t do much at the moment. We are hoping for the best.

“It sounds as though the young man with Danny has come off worst but we don’t know the full extent of Danny’s injuries yet. We are hoping both of them will be ok.”

His grandmother, Jean Anning said: “We are all hoping that he makes a full recovery as it sounds like a nasty attack and I’m just thankful it wasn’t a lot worse.”

Taiwanese tourist Chien Wang, 22, who was on board the boat tour when the men were attacked, told the Whitsunday Times she heard one of them shout “Shark, shark” from the water.

Alistair Raddon (Facebook)

She said: “At first I found it not really serious. Then he kept shouting. Everyone seemed to be scared.”

Mr Maggs’ friend, Jamie Dart, from Plymstock, told Cornwall Live: "I have spoken to him and he is recovering. He is having surgery on his leg and has got two deep lacerations on one of them. But he seems in good spirits.

“I just got one message from Danny himself and he said: ‘I am okay mate - but it was scary’.

"His parents seemed ok and said after they had spoken with him and put their mind at rest and confirmed it was just nasty bite to the leg.

"He was very lucky that is all it was.”

Danny Maggs (Facebook)

It was reported the men were attacked while in the water near Hook Passage, a body of water between Whitsunday Island and Hook Island which is popular with snorkellers.

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.

Ms Eastwick said that two German backpackers were on-board and administered "extremely important" first aid.

"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," she said.

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

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

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

Picture: PA

"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.

"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.

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