'It was a freak accident': Man, 25, reveals seconds before Whitsundays shark attack


A Tasmanian man who was bitten by a shark in the Whitsundays has vowed to return to the water.

Ryan Bowring, 25, was bitten on the leg by what is believed to be a reef whaler shark while working on a super yacht at Hardy Reef, about 50km northeast of Hamilton Island on Tuesday.

He was rescued by helicopter and flown to the Mackay Base Hospital.

Mr Bowring’s family have since flown up from Tasmania to visit him in hospital and it is expected he will be released in the next few days.

He said he was in the water for a matter of seconds before he was bitten but he vowed to return.

Ryan Bowring said he was focused on getting back to work in the water after being attacked by a shark in the Whitsundays. The shark on the right is not the one which bit him. Source: 7 News

“I’m being well looked after in hospital after surgery and my focus is on recovering and getting back to work,” he said in a statement.

The 25-year-old added it was “really a freak accident” and believes he may have spooked the shark on entering the water.

Dive operator Tony Fontes was concerned when he heard of the attack.

Mr Bowring gets rescued before being flown to Mackay Base Hospital. Source: CQ Rescue

“I thought, ‘Oh no, not again’,” Mr Fontes said. 

“It’s always a shock. It’s not something that happens on a regular basis although at the Whitsundays we have to be careful about saying that.”

Mr Fontes is referring to three other shark attacks which have occurred in the Whitsundays in the past six months.

Mr Bowring is one of four people attacked by a shark in the Whitsundays in the past six months. Source: 7 News

One of the shark attacks at Cid Harbour was fatal.

Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk has urged everyone to exercise caution on entering the water in the region.

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