Man dies in 3rd shark attack off Australia island in 7 weeks

Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays

The 33-year-old worked as a urologist at Melbourne's Austin Health and died from the attack by an unknown species of shark at dusk on Monday.

The Whitsunday Islands region around Cid Harbour is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Australia, with more than 750,000 local and worldwide visitors a year.

"They arrived in Cid Harbour with plans to stay overnight and anchored there in the mid-afternoon", Patrol Inspector Steve O'Connell said.

A man is in a critical condition after he was attacked by a shark at the Whitsunday Islands off Cid Harbour, where two tourists were mauled in separate attacks within 24 hours in September.

He had dived into the water to give the woman her turn on the board when he was attacked, O'Connell said.

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Temporary signs would be urgently installed and permanent signs would follow deterring people from swimming in the popular anchorage location, according to the statement.

Prof Colin Simpfendorfer, from James Cook University, said shark attacks were "extremely rare" in the Whitsundays, but no theories had "so far been supported by real substantial information" to understand the spike in shark activity.

There were more than a dozen yachts in the harbour at the time.

Christidis was taken by helicopter to the Mackay Base Hospital, 100 kilometres (60 miles) to the south, where he died.

All three attacks occurred in Cid Harbour, a picturesque bay surrounded by beaches in a popular tourist area on the north coast of Queensland.

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Ben McCauley, the emergency helicopter crew member, described the incident as "absolutely horrific".

The husband of one of the September Cid Harbour shark attack victims, 48-year-old Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick, said that the victim's family were in their thoughts.

Whitsunday Tourism told the ABC they asked operators in the region to alert them of cancellations or negative feedback they received as a result of the spate of shark attacks.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly said at the time that the Trumbull attack was the first in the islands in 13 years and only the third ever recorded.

Critics took to social media to protest that killing sharks was not the answer and that the predator plays an important role in the ecosystem and the survival of the endangered reef.

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"We are talking about a very vast area and certainly I would hate that the message got out that it was safe to swim in the Whitsundays when we can't guarantee that safety", Ms Jones said on Tuesday.

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