Two years on from double shark attacks
TWO years have passed since two people were attacked by sharks within 24 hours at Cid Harbour.
Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick and husband Craig were on their sixth annual holiday to the Whitsundays when a shark attacked her on the evening of September 19, 2018.
Thankfully, senior medical officer Dr John Haddock happened to be sailing in the harbour that day and was first on scene.
The next afternoon, Melbourne schoolgirl Hannah Papps, who was 12 at the time, was in the harbour sailing with her family when during a dip, a shark bit her just below the groin.
Her aunty - a veterinarian - applied first aid, but when the Mackay-based rescue helicopter crew arrived, they described the scene as "absolutely horrific".
Justine returned to Mackay Base Hospital late last year to thank the staff who helped with her recovery.
Sadly, Justine and Hannah weren't the only ones who suffered injures that year.
A few weeks later, there was another shark attack in Cid Harbour - this time involving Melbourne-based Dr Daniel Christidis on the evening of November 7.
He later died from his injuries.
The spate of shark attacks took a $61 million dollar bite out of Whitsundays tourism the following year.
Despite the Whitsundays having never had baited drumlines in place, the attacks intensified debate about Queensland Shark Control Program's catch-and-kill policy.
The program was dragged through the Federal Court and in April, 2019, Queensland was ordered to stop killing sharks unless on animal welfare grounds.
Having lost its appeal four months later, the government removed drumlines from within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Just over a year after the spate of attacks, there was another shark incident in the Whitsundays with British tourists Alistair Raddon and Danny Maggs bitten while snorkelling at Hook Passage on October 29, 2019.
In the same month, the Australian Government committed $1 million to cover trials of nonlethal shark control measures like near real-time alerts or drone surveillance in the Whitsundays.
But Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner has previously said it would be "near impossible" to ever install nonlethal drumlines in the Whitsundays.