Thursday, 19 April, 2018


Shark attacks second surfer at popular WA surf spot

'Shark Incident' Puts Margaret River Event on Hold BC-AS--Australia-Shark Attack,3rd Ld-Writethru, AS
Bennie Garza | 16 April, 2018, 12:20

A shark attack in nearby Gracetown has caused WSL officials to put the Margaret River event on hold.

The West Australian reports the second attack occurred just kilometres away from where a surfer was bitten at Cobblestones beach in Gracetown just before 8am on Monday.

Surf Life Saving Western Australia confirmed the shark sighting after receiving a report from the public.

"A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board", surf photographer Peter Jovic, who witnessed the attack, told ABC. An ambulance and helicopter rescue team were sent to the scene. "There was a lot more thrashing around".

The surfer suffered signficant leg injuries and was flown to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), where he is recovering from surgery and is expected to be transferred to the trauma unit.

"I$3 saw the guy who had been attacked get separated from the [surf] board and then start to paddle for an inside wave, which he managed to body surf all the way in".

The World Surf League have tweeted that they will be putting the World Surf League on hold as a result of the incident.

Beaches in the Gracetown area have been closed following the attack, including North Point, Big Rock and Lefthanders, and a shark warning has been issued for waters between Kilcarnup and North Point.

The Shark Smart website says the carcass could make nearby waters unsafe until it's removed. The man said he saw a four-metre shark coming towards him.

The Margaret River Pro worldwide surfing competition, which is about 15km away from the attack, was suspended for about one hour, but then resumed at Main Break.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attack would make worldwide news given the Margaret River Pro event was on nearby.

Surfers look back at the swell on Cowaramup Bay, in Gracetown.

"The safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority for the WSL. We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

Surfers had been in action this morning in the competition before the attack.

He said the incident emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines, rather than the Labor government's subsidised shark deterrent devices.

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