Shark attack off Fraser Island: Fisherman bitten on hand

A fisherman has been flown to hospital in Queensland after he was bitten by a shark he’d hooked so hard his companions had to help to pry him free from its jaws.

The man, aged in his 50s, had been fishing off the coast of Queensland’s Fraser Island just before 4pm on Thursday afternoon when he caught what is believed to be a whitetip shark.

He told rescuers he was trying to unhook the animal from his fishing line when it bit his arm.

Friends he was fishing with rushed to the man’s aid to help pry his arm out of the shark’s mouth and called emergency services.

The man was brought to shore by boat, where he was treated by Queensland Ambulance paramedics before being flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a stable condition.

Thursday’s attack comes little more than a week after surfer Nick Slater, 46, was mauled to death by a shark on the Gold Coast.

Mr Slater was attacked on September 8 off Greenmount Beach, which has shark netting.

Despite the best efforts of other surfers, lifeguards and emergency services, Mr Slater was pronounced dead on the sand.

Another surfer brought Mr Slater’s board back to shore, which had a clear indent from the shark’s bite and a tooth lodged in it.

The real estate agent’s death marked the first fatal attack on a Gold Coast beach in 62 years and sent shockwaves through the community.

More than two months ago, Matthew Tratt, a spear fisherman from the Sunshine Coast, was fatally mauled in waters off Fraser Island’s Indian Head.

Mr Tratt, 36, had been fishing with his brother during a family holiday when he was attacked on July 4.

Bystanders, including a doctor and nurse, treated the man before paramedics could get to the area, but he died at the scene.

His brother Robert told the ABC two weeks later the father-of-two had a “beautiful” death.

“When he did pass away, he was on the rocks,” he said.

“There were whales jumping out of the water not 50 metres away, turtles flapping their flippers in the water below us.

“You couldn’t write a more beautiful way to die if you tried.”

In June, Rob Pedretti was mauled by a three-metre great white shark at Salt Beach, near Kingscliff, just south of the Queensland/NSW border.

The 60-year-old was dragged to shore by his friend and one other surfer, who were forced to fight off the shark as they pulled him onto a surfboard.

NSW Police were granted permission to destroy the shark due to concerns the two heroes had to fend the animal off and the shark had stayed in the area for hours after the attack.

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