A shark has bitten off a man's foot in an attack on two English tourists near Airlie Beach.
The men were on a tour with ZigZag Whitsundays, which runs snorkelling tours in the region, when they were attacked about 10.20am today.
and Danny Maggs, 22, suffered serious lacerations to his lower right leg.Alistair Raddon, 28, had his right foot bitten off
The boat reportedly made the emergency call from Hook Passage, a popular snorkelling spot about 20 minutes offshore from Airlie Beach.
Thankfully, two international paramedics were on the boat and were able to administer first aid.
They were transported to the Coral Sea Marina about 11am, before being taken to Mackay Hospital by the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter.
Both remain in a serious but stable condition.
"He thought his mate had grabbed him really hard and turned around and saw there was blood in the water," RACQ CQ Rescue's Grant Bollington told
ZigZag thanked emergency services for their immediate response to their injured guests.
"We are saddened to confirm that two of our guests were injured in a shark attack this morning. Our thoughts are with them, their families and the other guests on the tour," they said in a statement.
The Whitsundays region has been the site of a number of shark attacks in the last year.
Victorian man Daniel Christidis, 33, died in November 2018 after being attacked at Cid Harbour at Whitsunday Island during a trip with friends and colleagues.
That incident followed separate attacks within 24 hours in September - also at Cid Harbour - on Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick and Victorian 12-year-old Hannah Papps.
Earlier this year a man was hospitalised after being bitten on the thigh in waters at Hardy Reef, about 50km northeast of Hamilton Island.
Drum lines were briefly installed in the Whitsundays region and six large sharks were killed following the September attacks, prompting heated debate within the community.
Just last month, the Queensland government was ordered by the federal court to end its shark culling program. Baited hooks were being used to lure sharks and if they were one of 19 target species – such as tiger or bull sharks – they were killed.
Experts told the court that killing sharks does not make a difference to the very rare chance of a shark attack.
A spokesman for Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said the area was not part of the controversial shark controlled program which was suspended earlier this year.
"Airlie Beach has never been covered by the shark control program," he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk believes the federal government should change laws to allow drum lines to go back into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
"I will not shy away from my stance that the drum lines need to go back in," she said.