Tourists Warned to Stop Swimming Near Great Barrier Reef

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reef shark: PHOTO: Swim with the reef sharks at Kuata Island. (Photo by Katherine Vallera)© Travalliancemedia Owned Media (Staff Photo)
PHOTO: Swim with the reef sharks at Kuata Island. (Photo by Katherine Vallera)

Tourists heading to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia are being warned to stay out of the water following shark attacks on consecutive days this week.

According to The Associated Press, the warning was issued for the popular Whitsunday Islands after a 46-year-old woman was attacked by a shark Wednesday and a 12-year-old girl was bitten Thursday while swimming.

Both victims were transported to Brisbane hospitals with leg wounds, and they are in critical but stable condition.

“It is possible that there’s more than one shark involved in these unfortunate events,” Fisheries Queensland manager Jeff Krause said. “We don’t normally go out and search for any sharks that may have been involved in a shark attack, but due to the nature of these multiple attacks, Fisheries Queensland is going to deploy three drum lines in a bid to try and catch some of the sharks in that area.”

The company that managed the yachts the victims were swimming near, Queensland Yacht Charter, was told that visitors were being advised to not enter the water near the Whitsunday Islands for the foreseeable future.

Bond University shark attack expert Daryl McPhee said the Great Barrier Reef has a higher population of sharks than other areas, but the likelihood of a shark attack is still slim. The islands attract whaler, bull and tiger sharks.

Related video: Is the Great Barrier Reef recovering from coral bleaching? (Provided by CBS News)

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