Tourism bosses are calling for immediate aerial surveillance on Whitsunday beaches to help keep tourists safe from sharks.

British tourist Alistair Raddon, 28, and Danny Maggs, 22, were attacked by a shark near Hook Passage on Tuesday morning.

They were on a ZigZag Whitsundays boat tour when the shark bit one man before circling and returning to bite the other.

Mr Raddon’s foot was bitten off and one of Mr Maggs’ calves was lacerated.

Both men are recovering in Mackay hospital and have thanked the quick-thinking individuals who saved their lives.

“Everyone dealt with our situation well and remained calm and we are very grateful for your help,” they said.

Tourism Whitsundays boss Tash Wheeler said her thoughts were with the injured tourists and the welfare of those who witnessed it.

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“Visitor safety is our number one priority,” Ms Wheeler said.

However, she admitted the attacks – the fifth since last September – had impacted tourist numbers prompting pleas for government funding to help keep tourists safe.

“We would ask the federal and Queensland governments for support to provide immediate funding for daily aerial surveillance in specific bays as an interim measure,” she said.

“Our industry is working collaboratively with government and experts to find a long-term solution as well as understanding why these incidents have occurred and based on this knowledge what measures can be taken to mitigate against further risks.”

 

AAP

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