Queensland Ambulance Service said it responded to reports that a woman in her 20s had been bitten while swimming off the coast of Fitzroy Island, near Cairns, Queensland, at around 12.10pm on Tuesday.
Bystanders applied first aid at the scene, the service added. The woman, who has not been named, suffered “significant injuries” and was airlifted to Cairns Hospital where her condition is said to be stable.
It is understood the woman was making a documentary about sharks when she was bitten at the popular holiday destination, off Queensland’s northeastern coast.
Video from the scene shows the woman being transferred from a helicopter to an ambulance waiting to take her to hospital.
“I still love sharks!” the woman shouts at media crews in footage shared by 7 News. “Sharks are beautiful”.
There have been a number of human encounters with sharks in Australia in the past 10 days, two of which resulted in fatalities.
Teenager Mani Hart-Deville was killed by a suspected great white shark while surfing off the coast of Wooli Beach, New South Wales, on Saturday.
Fellow surfers helped the 15-year-old student ashore but he died at the scene as a result of a bite to his upper left thigh. Residents in the area were advised not to enter the water until further notice.
Matthew Tratt, 36, died after getting bitten by a shark while spearfishing near Queensland’s Fraser Island on 4 July.
The father-of-two was also bitten on the leg and died at the scene.
Despite the spike in recent cases, the number of shark attacks recorded around the world remains low when compared with the number of people swimming in the sea. According to the Florida Museum, there were 64 encounters globally in 2019.
Only five of those were fatal, which is roughly line with the annual global average of four deaths per year, according to the museum, which tracks shark encounters across the world.