RACQ Lifeflight chopper pictured on the ground at Hervey Bay Airport after assisting with a scuba diver who was attacked by a shark off Indian Head on Fraser Island Picture Cody Fox NRM
RACQ Lifeflight chopper pictured on the ground at Hervey Bay Airport after assisting with a scuba diver who was attacked by a shark off Indian Head on Fraser Island Picture Cody Fox NRM

Fraser Island's fatal shark attack victim identified

The body of shark victim Matthew Tratt is airlifted from Indian Head on Fraser Island.
The body of shark victim Matthew Tratt is airlifted from Indian Head on Fraser Island. Contributed

UPDATE, 11.30AM: The man killed in a shark attack at Indian Head on Saturday has been identified.

Matthew Tratt, 34, was spear fishing with his brother off Fraser Island when the attack happened about 2pm.

His brother managed to get him up on the rocks where he received medical treatment from an off-duty doctor and nurse.

But the extent of his injuries was too severe and he wasn't able to be revived.

The air-conditioning contractor from Buderim was a father of two.

His grieving widow, Kayla, posted a photo of the two of the them together on Facebook overnight.

The couple have two children.
The couple have two children.

UPDATE, 7.50PM: The man killed by a shark in the waters off Indian Head was a 36-year-old from the Sunshine Coast.

Initial reports suggested the man was 20 but updated information has been received.

A Queensland Police spokesperson confirmed the man was spearfishing in the notorious shark hotspot when he was bitten by a shark.

An off-duty doctor and nurse provided first aid on shore before paramedics arrived.

The man's leg was severely injured and he died just after 4.30pm.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

The body of shark victim Matthew Tratt is airlifted from Indian Head on Fraser Island.
The body of shark victim Matthew Tratt is airlifted from Indian Head on Fraser Island. Contributed

EARLIER, 7PM: FISHERMEN watched in horror as a scuba diver was mauled to death off Fraser island yesterday.

The man, 36, was spear fishing off Indian Head on the island's remote northeast about 2pm when he was attacked by a suspected great white.

He was pulled from the water unconscious with his left leg severely mauled.

Bystanders including an off-duty doctor and nurse worked frantically to revive him and were joined by paramedics who were winched down by the RACQ Lifeflight helicopter.

They performed CPR on the man for more than an hour but his injuries were too severe, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.



The Lifeflight helicopter flew the man's body to Hervey Bay.

Emergency services said the tragedy was witnessed by fishermen who were on the rocks at Indian Head when the attack happened.

Leading shark expert Dr Daryl McPhee, an Associate Professor at Bond University, said the fatal attack was 'a tragedy' but 'no surprise'.

"Fraser Island, and particularly the Indian Head region is known as a key spawning location for migratory fish such as tailor … sharks follow and attack those schools of fish," Dr McPhee said.

"It's no surprise that there's an unprovoked shark bite there, it's perhaps more surprising that people are actually diving there."

The State Government is considering removing shark nets and replacing them with drumlines during the annual whale migration, after a spate of whale strandings on the Gold Coast.

Fraser Island, however, is not protected by nets or drumlines which stretch from the Gold Coast to Cairns.

EARLIER: 4.51PM: A scuba diver has died after a shark attack at Indian Head this afternoon.

Despite the best efforts of medical crews at the scene, the diver's injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

It's understood his body is being flown back to Hervey Bay.

The attack happened about 2pm.

EARLIER, 4.40PM: EMERGENCY services are continuing to work on a man who was mauled by a shark in waters off Fraser Island.

It is understood emergency services have been giving the scuba diver CPR for more than an hour.

He is understood to be on rocks off Indian Head and the RACQ Lifeflight helicopter sent from the Sunshine Coast has not been able to land.

A doctor and paramedic have been lowered to the beach to treat the man.

EARLIER, 3.30PM: A patient is in a critical condition after reportedly being mauled by a shark in the waters off Indian Head.

The stunning Indian Head on Fraser Island. Photo Tourism and Events Queensland
The stunning Indian Head on Fraser Island. Photo Tourism and Events Queensland Chris McLennan

The patient is being treated by paramedics on the beach on Fraser Island.

According to a spokesman from the Queensland Ambulance Service, the person was assisted by bystanders after the attack.

EARLIER: A patient is being treated by paramedics after a shark attack on Fraser Island.

The incident happened just after 2pm off Indian Head Bypass Rd.

The patient is reported to be a male scuba diver.

A scuba diver has been attacked by a shark at Indian Head on Fraser Island.
A scuba diver has been attacked by a shark at Indian Head on Fraser Island. Google Earth

A rescue helicopter has landed and medical assistance is being provided.

The incident is believed to be serious.

More to come.


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