03/25/2019 - Ryan Bowring - Australia

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03/25/2019 - Ryan Bowring - Australia

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Ryan Bowring shark attack Queensland's Great Barrier Reef shark attack Australia Shark attacks*

A man bitten on the hip and buttocks by a shark in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef was preparing to lead a snorkelling tour when he felt the "initial bump and bite".

Ryan Bowring, 25, remained in a stable condition in Mackay Base Hospital on Tuesday after falling victim to the fourth shark attack in north Queensland waters in a little more than six months.
Ryan Bowring, 25, was bitten near Hardy Reef off Queensland's Whitsundays on Monday.

Ryan Bowring, 25, was bitten near Hardy Reef off Queensland's Whitsundays on Monday.Credit:Facebook

The former Tasmanian resident, who is working as the first mate aboard the DeLisle III, issued a statement through Tourism Whitsundays late Tuesday.

"Thank you to everyone who has asked after me following the shark incident at Block Reef yesterday. I am doing ok and really want to take the opportunity to thank my crewmates, the RACQ CQ helicopter staff and members of the emergency services for their help,'' he wrote.

"Contrary to reports, I was not spearfishing or diving in what was about 3 metres of water. I had been in the water for about 20 seconds [and was] about to lead a snorkelling tour when I felt the initial bump and bite.

"I can only assume that when I entered the water I must have come in on top of or surprised the Grey Reef Shark, causing it to retaliate."
Mr Bowring is from Hobart and found work with an Airlie Beach sailing adventure company in Queensland.

Mr Bowring is from Hobart and found work with an Airlie Beach sailing adventure company in Queensland.Credit:Facebook

Mr Bowring described it as an unusual incident.

"The reef is a stunning place, full of incredible marine life and I have been disappointed that what was really a freak accident, has been portrayed as something more sinister,'' he said in the statement.

"At this stage, I am being well looked after in hospital after surgery last night and my focus is on recovering and getting back to work. I would appreciate that you respect my privacy during this time."

Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Shane Tucker said the shark inflicted “multiple penetrating” wounds to the man’s left hip and right buttocks.

“From all reports, there were no major lacerations or significant wounds as such — it was a lot of multiple teeth-like marks,” he said.

After he was bitten, Mr Bowring made his way back to the boat where crew members applied pressure to his wounds and rushed him to a pontoon on the reef.

Mr Bowring was awake when he was winched off a helipad by 2.30pm, headed for Mackay Base Hospital in a stable condition.
Mr Bowring was flown to the mainland for further treatment on Monday afternoon.

Mr Bowring was flown to the mainland for further treatment on Monday afternoon.Credit:RACQ CQ Rescue - Twitter

"He’s sitting up ... he was from a pontoon and I believe he was diving," an RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter spokeswoman said.

A Cruise Whitsundays spokeswoman said the attack happened at Line Reef, about 10 nautical miles from Hardy Reef.

She said a staff member in a small boat transferred the victim from the private boat he was on to a nearby helipad for winching into the helicopter.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she understood Mr Bowring had undergone surgery.

"Our thoughts are with him," she said.

"However, people are aware that there are sharks in Queensland waters; however, we want to make sure that our tourism industry does not suffer as a result of this."

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said she met with Agriculture Minister and Whitsunday mayor Andrew Willcox and the government would provide support for the tourism industry.

The latest attack spurred LNP deputy leader Tim Mander to call for shark protections in the area.

Tasmanian snorkeller Justine Barwick, 46, was mauled on the leg and torso in Cid Harbour, off Whitsunday Island, on September 19 last year.

Melbourne girl Hannah Papps, 12, was bitten less than 24 hours after Ms Barwick in the same harbour. She was swimming with her father and sister at the time and ended up losing her leg.

Victorian doctor Daniel Christidis, 33, lost his life two months later when he was mauled by a shark in the Whitsundays during a five-day cruise with fellow doctors and medical practitioners.

In January, a nine-year-old girl was bitten on her foot near Catseye Beach, off Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays, but it was later determined a toadfish had bitten her, not a shark.

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How would you deal with being severely injured by an animal that may have wanted to consume you or just parts of you? A shark attack can be a mindboggling event in a person's life. We know we have been there!
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