Hamilton Island bite victims issue statement
THE family of a nine-year-old girl and a woman who were injured in yesterday's incident at Hamilton Island has thanked those people that provided assistance.
But the question of whether a shark or a toad fish was the creature responsible for the bite remains unclear.
In a statement released to media shortly before 1pm today, the family said it would like to thank everyone who had looked after their daughter and mother, from the care provided on the beach through to their arrival in hospital.
"We were very fortunate that a surgeon and a nurse from Townsville who were (on) holiday there helped us out as soon as we got out of the water," the statement said.
"Our thanks also goes to others on the beach who helped as well as the lifesavers, ambulance crews, Hamilton Island medical centre staff and management, Proserpine and Mackay Base hospitals.
"The transport and care was well co-ordinated and nothing short of amazing."
According to the statement, the girl is expected to remain in hospital for "some time" and undergo further surgery on her foot before the family returns home to Sydney.
The attack happened in shallow water at Catseye Beach on Hamilton Island shortly before 9.30am.
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Ross Vickers yesterday told media the girl sustained a small soft tissue injury to her right foot, "which was not threatening to the viability of the foot".
"The injury was 5-10cm in diameter," he said.
Mr Vickers said the woman was treated for minor injuries, described as a "reasonable laceration", to her right lower leg.
"The... lady identified what appeared to be a shark at the time, estimated to be 1m in length, which was also confirmed by some lifesavers at the beach."
Hamilton Island, who originally confirmed a shark was responsible, issued a statement late yesterday saying they believed it was a toad fish.
"Following this morning's incident on Catseye Beach, Hamilton Island has now had the opportunity to speak to a number of people, including our own medical staff, resident professional fishermen and independent fisheries personnel," the statement said.
"We have received advice from industry experts, taking into account the bite shape and size from a fish of approximately 50cm in length and the location under the foot.
"Whilst we cannot unequivocally say it is not a shark bite, those factors lead us to believe that this attack was from a toad fish."
The pair were treated initially at Hamilton Island Medical Centre, before the girl was transferred to Proserpine Hospital.
Last night she was taken to Mackay Base Hospital where she remains in a stable condition today.