Two British tourists have been seriously injured in a shark attack at a popular holiday spot in Australia.
Alistair Raddon, 28, from Southampton, and Danny Maggs, from Plymouth, were swimming in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands when they were attacked.
The shark severed Mr Raddon’s foot and left Mr Maggs, 22, with leg wounds, paramedics said.
They were taken by a tour boat to shore and treated there, before being flown to hospital in a stable condition.
The Whitsunday Islands – near the Great Barrier Reef – have seen other shark attacks in recent times.
Authorities said both men had been snorkelling on a day cruise.
“One of the male patients was attacked first and the shark is believed to have returned and come back and attacked the second patient,” a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.
Jamie Dart, a friend of Mr Maggs, said he had been in touch with the 22-year-old’s parents who told him he was recovering from surgery on his leg.
He said: “He’s in high spirits. A bit shaken up but doing well, considering. He’s a great guy with a zest for life.”
The attack occurred at Hook Passage, about 10km (six miles) from where an Australian man was fatally bitten by a shark last November.
The islands also saw two other attacks within 24 hours in September last year. Both victims survived, although one – a 12-year-old girl – later had a leg amputated.
In response to those incidents, authorities culled six sharks in the area and controversially installed drum lines – baited hooks which are suspended underwater. The drum lines were later removed due to their impact on other marine life.
At the time, experts said there was insufficient evidence to explain why the attacks had occurred in the same area. Sharks can be drawn by fishing activity or dirty water, and tend to be more active during dusk.
Unprovoked shark attacks have injured 10 people in Australia this year, according to the Australian Shark Attack File.