Shark attack victim Justine Barwick with her husband Craig in the RBWH. Picture: Supplied
Shark attack victim Justine Barwick with her husband Craig in the RBWH. Picture: Supplied

First photo of shark attack victim Justine Barwick released

THE first photo of shark attack victim Justine Barwick has been released, as she continues her recovery in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

According to her spokesman and employer Douglass Doherty, Justine is now able to get out of bed with assistance of a physiotherapist, nine days after she was bitten in the upper inner thigh by a tiger shark.

Shark control equipment being deployed at Sawmill Bay in the wake of two shark attacks.
Shark control equipment being deployed at Sawmill Bay in the wake of two shark attacks.

"Day two of getting out bed and physio is progressing as well as can be expected.

Today in her walk to the chair Justine did a 10-metre return trip on her own two legs with assistance from the physiotherapist," Justine's husband Craig said.

In a statement, Justine said: "I am learning to walk again but there are many hours of physio and occupational therapy sessions in my future. I think I am up to the task! Please be patient with me as I undertake this work.

"It is my sincere hope to be back to you as soon as I possibly can be it is just going to take a while. Work for me isn't just a job; it is a family."

Ms Barwick was attacked by a shark in Cid Harbour at Whitsunday Island, just north of Hamilton Island, last week.   Melbourne schoolgirl Hannah Papps, 12, was attacked in the same area less than 24 hours later.  

Drum lines were deployed in the area and six sharks were captured, and killed.   

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the Queensland Government's response to last week's unprecedented shark incidents had been reviewed regularly and an assessment had been made today that it had been effective in raising public awareness.  

"Setting the drumlines immediately after last week's events has highlighted the dangers posed by shark activity in the Cid Harbour area," the Minister said, earlier this week.  

"By removing these large sharks we have made the area safer and the publicity around our actions has certainly made everyone more conscious of their own well-being in those waters.  

"The sharks removed measured 1.2 metres up to 3.7 metres, which is very large. Most of these were Tiger sharks more than 2 metres in length, which have a history of causing serious injuries and death.  

"This indicates the high level of shark activity in the area and suggests more than one shark was involved in last week's incidents.   "While we are confident people now better understand the threat posed by these marine predators, there will be a continuing presence in the area over the school holiday period.  

"The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) will remain onsite with support from other state government agencies to provide a 'at sea' advisory program to maintain the heightened level of awareness around the safety risk."