Two shark attacks in Whitsundays

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Officials say a woman is in critical condition after she was mauled by a shark on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

"Paramedics are treating a female child in a serious condition with a significant leg injury after being bitten by a shark in waters near Cid Harbour", the Queensland Ambulance Service tweeted.

Less than 24 hours later, a 12-year-old girl was attacked in a similar area.

Less than 24 hours earlier, a 46-year-old Tasmanian woman suffered significant leg and torso injuries from a shark attack in the same part of Queensland.

Mr Krause said various types of whaler species as well as bull and tiger sharks can be found in waters around the harbour and he advised against swimming in or near Cid Harbour for the time being.

"Fisheries Queensland has organised for the Queensland Shark Control Program contractor based at Mackay to deploy three shark control drumlines in the area tomorrow morning", the department said in a statement.

In a cruel twist, it was the same RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter pilot and air crewman that rescued both Mrs Barwick and the young girl.

She was pulled from the water and later winched from Sawmill Bay onto a RACQ Rescue helicopter. "There was quite a lot of blood around the boat", Mr McCauley said.

She remains in a critical condition.

It was lucky the CQ rescue helicopter was already close by when it got the call for help, giving the woman the best shot of survival.

The helicopter then stopped at Proserpine to refuel, allowing blood from a local hospital to be transfused and other medical treatment given.

"I've dived with sharks and it's never been an issue". As the RACQ CQ Rescue crew were unable to winch off the yacht, the injured woman was put into a dinghy and taken 100 metres from the boat.

"In north Queensland, shark attacks are not that common".

Chief executive Douglass Doherty, of Family Based Care Tasmania, where Mrs Barwick works, said she is an avid snorkeller and was on an annual trip to the Whitsundays.