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Young Girl Second Shark Attack Victim In QLD Harbour

Two tourists remain in a critical condition following two shark attacks in less than 24 hours at the same north Queensland harbour in the Whitsunday Islands.

A 12-year-old girl, who was holidaying with her father and sister, was mauled on her thigh on Thursday afternoon.

Less than a day earlier, 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.

Both tourists were airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital where they underwent emergency surgery.

Ms Barwick was then flown to Brisbane in a medically-configured jet for further medical treatment on Thursday evening, according to LifeFlight Air Ambulance.

Queensland Ambulance Service operations manager Tracey Eastwick said paramedics were horrified to witness two similar incidents in succession.

"As you can imagine they're fairly large wounds with artery and bones, (blood) vessels, large haemorrhage," she told reporters in Mackay.

"In north Queensland, shark attacks are not that common."

The last attack in the area was eight years ago.

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.

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