A woman is fighting for her life in hospital after being mauled by a shark in the Whitsundays

David Fleetham / Barcroft India / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

A woman has spent the night fighting for her life and remains in a critical condition this morning at a Mackay hospital after being attacked by a shark which bit a chunk out of her leg and torso.

The Brisbane Times reports that the woman, 46, suffered significant injuries when she was attacked where she was swimming near a yacht in Cid Harbour, just off Whitsunday Island on Wednesday around 5pm.

She was pulled from the water and was bleeding profusely. A local doctor adiministered first aid on board the boat, and she was quickly airlifted by rescue helicopter to hospital about 8pm.

“The people on scene who got her onboard that yacht and quickly packed the gaping wound to help stem the haemorrhaging undoubtedly saved her life,” RACQ CQ rescue crewman Ben McCauley told Fairfax Media.

“Given how serious her injuries were and how far from shore and from medical help they were, without the rescue helicopter I don’t think she would have made it back to the mainland alive,” McCauley said.

The area is a popular spot on the Great Barrier Reed for people who take sailing trips from Hamilton Island.

The woman was on holidays from Tasmania.

The Brisbane Times has more.

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