Harrowing moment paramedics arrive to save 12-year-old girl bitten by shark

Harrowing footage has captured the moment helicopter crews touched down on an idyllic Whitsundays beach to save a 12-year-old girl who became the second shark attack victim in less than 24 hours.

Rescue crews touched down on Cid Harbour on Thursday afternoon to find the little girl clinging to life with what was believed to be a severed femoral artery after she was bitten on her upper thigh. 

Vision shows the RACQ CQ paramedics rushing to the child who had been holidaying with her father and sister from Melbourne. 

Bleeding heavily, paramedics spent the next 20 minutes battling to stabilise her condition before rushing her to a Mackay hospital for emergency surgery.

The RACQ CQ chopper can be seen touching down on the beach to find the little girl clinging to life. Images: 7 News

“As you can imagine they’re fairly large wounds with artery and bones, (blood) vessels, large haemorrhage,” Queensland Ambulance Service operations manager Tracey Eastwick said.

The little girl remains in a critical condition on Friday morning.

Second attack in 24 hours

Less than one day earlier, Tasmanian mother Justine Barwick, 46, was also attacked in Cid Harbour while snorkelling.

The mother-of-two is lucky to be alive after a large chunk of her left thigh was taken and she received puncture wounds to her calf.

Justine Barwick was attacked in the Whitsundays by a shark on Wednesday. Source: 7 News

“It is horrific… for us as a community of paramedics it is quite confronting to have two similar incidents in the space of less than 24 hours,” Ms Eastwick said.

The Queensland government will set three drum lines in the area on Friday in a bid to prevent any further attacks.

Fisheries officers and water police are also patrolling the area, while swimmers are being told to stay out of the water at the popular holiday hotspot.

The last shark attack in the area was eight years ago.