A man has been killed in another shark attack in the Whitsundays

The man was airlifted to Mackay Hospital in a critical condition. Image 7 NewsMore

The man was airlifted to Mackay Hospital in a critical condition. Image 7 NewsMore

Australia ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark encounters with humans in 2017, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

The Whitsunday Water Police will be conducting patrols of Cid Harbour today along with vessels from other Queensland and Commonwealth Government agencies.

The attack on Monday evening happened in the same waters where two tourists were mauled in separate attacks within 24 hours in September.

A shark has killed a man in an island harbour on Australia's Great Barrier Reef where two tourists were mauled on consecutive days in September.

Local dive boat operator Tony Fontes said it was important the industry was open about the warnings but that he had not seen any negative impacts since the first attack in September.

The victim was taking turns with a woman on a paddle board in the harbour on Monday afternoon.

There were more than a dozen yachts around at the time and French-speaking tourists rushed to the man's rescue on a dingy.

The victim was taken by helicopter to the Mackay Base Hospital, 60 miles to the south, where he died.

Rescue helicopter crewman Ben McCauley told reporters the scene was "gruesome".

The victims were 12-year-old Melbourne girl Hannah Papps, who suffered a "significant leg injury" during the attack, and Tasmanian tourist 46-year-old Justine Barwick, who suffered severe injuries to her right thigh and had to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Whitsunday is the largest island in the Whitsunday Islands group, a major global tourist attraction popular with scuba divers and sailors where shark attacks have been rare.

The last shark attack in the Whitsunday Islands before the latest spate occurred on February 13, 2010, off Dent Island when a 60-year-old woman survived severe lacerations to her buttocks and major blood loss.

(AAP) Shark control equipment is deployed at Sawmill Bay after two shark attacks in the Whitsundays.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive Peter O'Reilly had said at the time that the Trumbull attack was the third ever recorded in the islands and the first in 13 years.

He said: "We need to now have the scientific background and investigation of what is causing this sudden spike of attacks and interactions with sharks".

"We are talking about a very vast area and certainly I would hate that the message got out that it was safe to swim in the Whitsundays when we can't guarantee that safety", Ms Jones said on Tuesday.

Authorities responded to the two attacks by culling six sharks in the area and installing drum lines for a week.

They are baited hook lines which catch sharks and other marine life, which then die or are later killed by fisheries officers.

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