‘Catastrophic’ shark attack critically injures Australian spearfisher, officials say

Don Sweeney
·1 min read

A 59-year-old man spearfishing near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia suffered “catastrophic” injuries Sunday in a shark attack, officials say.

Paramedics airlifted the man from Britomart Reef to a Townsville hospital, where he’s listed in critical condition, after the 12:30 p.m. attack, The Guardian reported.

“There was obviously evidence of a very significant shark bite to the patient’s upper thigh, pelvic region,” said David Humphreys, a doctor with LifeFlight Australia, NBC News reported.

Britomart Reef, part of Great Barrier Reef, is a popular fishing destination, 9 News reported. The man had been spearfishing with a friend when a shark attacked him.

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The Taronga Conservation Society Australia has recorded seven fatal shark attacks in Australia in 2020.

Experts say climate change may be responsible for the rise in fatal attacks, driving sharks closer to shore in search of food, The Science Times reports.