Fisherman saw shark swarm before attack
Fisherman Ron Brennan was not far from Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays when his boat was swarmed by what he says were 1000 sharks — just before the attacks on two swimmers this week.
In 30 years of fishing, Mr Brennan said he had never seen so many sharks as he did on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
“There were hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, black-tip sharks, then we had our standard tiger sharks,” he said.
“They were eating other sharks out of the net.
“It was just carnage — over 1000 sharks. My boat is six metres and there wouldn’t have been enough room in my boat to put these sharks. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Mr Brennan was fishing in Repulse Bay.
“The net wasn’t even in the water for an hour,” he said. “We had to start picking them up because they said he nearby were sinking them.” Hannah Papps, 12, was still battling for her life last night after being attacked on Thursday.
Her rescuers yesterday described how she smiled and gave them the “thumbs up” as she was loaded into a helicopter at a remote beach on Whitsunday Island.
Hannah was yesterday flown from Mackay to Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
Rescuers said the schoolgirl was “brave” and “stoic”, despite having horrific injuries to her leg that have left her in a critical condition.
Hannah was mauled just 24 hours after Tasmanian Justine Barwick was attacked.
The 46-year-old was bitten on her left thigh while snorkelling and was last night in a stable but critical condition.
Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club vice-commodore Gabby Crehan said she was swimming in the harbour 15 minutes before Ms Barwick was attacked on Wednesday.
“The first we knew of it, there was screaming,” she said.
“The guys who came up in the dinghy looking for a doctor said she had been attacked by a bull shark. Then someone said later it could have been a tiger.”
Fisheries Queensland shark control program manager Jeff Krause said it was too early to determine what species was responsible for the attacks.
Marine biologist Blake Chapman said it was unlikely that a rogue shark was responsible for both attacks.
Hannah Papps is transferred from Mackay to Brisbane.