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Shark attacks woman, child at popular Australian tourist site


A woman and a child were bitten by a shark in the popular Whitsunday Islands near Australia´s Great Barrier Reef on Thursday in the latest of a string of such attacks, reports and officials said.

The Queensland state ambulance service said the pair were rushed to hospital with leg and foot wounds from the attack along a beach on Hamilton Island, but the injuries were not life-threatening.

Local media said the victims were a woman and young child playing in the shallow waters of the island´s Catseye Beach.

It was the latest in a series of shark attacks in waters around the Whitsunday islands, which had been considered safe for swimming.

One man died of his injuries from an attack in November, and a 12-year-old girl lost a leg after another mauling in September.

Australia has one of the world´s highest incidences of shark attacks, but fatalities remain rare.

There were 20 “unprovoked” shark attacks off the vast continent´s coast in 2018, though only one was fatal, according to data compiled by the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

Hamilton island grabbed global headlines in 2009 when 34,000 people entered a competition to land the “Best Job in the World” — a six-month stint as “caretaker” of the idyllic destination.

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