Tourist attacked by tiger shark in 'freak incident' off Aussie coast

The tour group was enjoying Sandland Island, about 300m offshore, when screams could suddenly be heard.

A woman who was attacked by a tiger shark "out of nowhere" at a small island off the West Australian coast is fighting to recover and reportedly remained in a critical condition on Monday night.

The woman, in her 40s, was bitten by a two-metre shark about 11.30am yesterday, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development confirmed.

She was standing in waist-deep water off Sandland Island, north of the town of Jurien Bay and is understood to have suffered serious leg injuries but is ultimately expected to recover.

The woman's wounds were dressed on board the tour boat before it rushed back to shore. Paramedics were called to Jurien Bay Harbour, about 220km north of Perth, at 11.44am (local time) and a rescue helicopter then transported the sightseer to Royal Perth Hospital where she underwent emergency surgery.

The woman was with a group on a sea lion tour and was the only person attacked.

The woman was the only person on the sea lion tour to be bitten. Source: Nine News
The woman was the only person on the sea lion tour to be bitten. Source: Nine News

Kane Krollig, the captain of the Turquoise Safaris vessel which ferried the tourists to the spot, told Perth Now he and the other workers were watching over the group when the shark attacked and they suddenly heard a "lady screaming".

"I looked, I saw blood and gave the signal for the crew to round everyone up," he said, although he never saw the shark.

"We were 100 per cent there for the lady ... it was just a freak incident ... (but) a very frightening experience for everyone on board."

Sandland Island is about 300m offshore and about two hectares in size. Authorities closed beaches in the area in the wake of the attack.

Where am I more likely to be attacked by a shark?

Gavin Naylor who curates the Florida Museum of Natural History’s internationally recognised database on shark bites previously told Yahoo he believes being further out isn’t always the problem because a lot of shark bites happen relatively close to shore.

Instead, being a distance away from other swimmers could increase your chances of being attacked.

with AAP

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