A DOCTOR killed by a shark while swimming in the idyllic Whitsundays' Cid Harbour - the third attack in seven weeks - has been described as an "exceptional gentleman" with a "heart of gold".

Devastated family last night gathered to grieve for Dr Daniel Christidis, a talented young Melbourne doctor who'd spoken at international conferences and published dozens of papers in the specialised field.

The 33-year-old trainee urologist had been travelling with friends from the medical profession when he was mauled by a shark of unknown species - his injuries so horrific that even his colleagues couldn't save him.

A cousin of Dr Christidis, said his family was in shock.

"Daniel was my cousin and was an exceptional gentleman," she said. "He had a heart of gold and was a good soul. We are in disbelief. Daniel was always there to help others."

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