"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.
An avid snorkeller, Justine Barwick was swimming near her family yacht during her annual holiday at Queensland's picturesque Whitsundays, a warm change from her Tasmanian home town of Burnie. The shark bite left her bleeding profusely, the report said.
A local doctor adiministered first aid on board the boat, and she was quickly airlifted by rescue helicopter to hospital about 8pm.
"The helicopter has now departed the beach with the child for Mackay Base Hospital where a trauma team is available and awaiting their arrival", Ms Thomas said.
"At approximately 1343 we received a notification that a young child had been bitten by a shark in the Whitsunday Islands", she said.
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The girl, 12, was flown to hospital on Thursday also in a critical condition, Queensland Ambulance Service said.
The incident occurred within 24 hours of an attack on a Tasmanian women in the same area.
While parts of the area has shark nets in place, they don't necessarily provide an impenetrable barrier between swimmers and sharks.
There hasn't been a fatal shark attack in Queensland since 2014 when 18-year-old Daniel Smith was attacked by a tiger shark near Rudder Reef near Port Douglas.
He suffered a bite to the upper thigh and died within minutes of being pulled from the water. Of these, two people died.