Shark attack halts Australia surf competition

Shark Attack Near Gracetown

Shark attack closes Margaret River pro surfing event

A surfer mauled by a shark Monday off southwest Australia managed to swim to shore despite serious injuries to both of his legs, an official and a witness said.

He said paramedics on the ground reported that first aid from the man's friends was crucial in the moments after the attack, as they used a leg rope to stem blood flow.

The RAC Rescue Helicopter arrived at Royal Perth Hospital just after 10.30am and the man was in a stable condition on arrival. He is being transferred to the state trauma unit where he will continue his recovery.

The attack prompted the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro worldwide surfing contest.

After assessing the situation, organizers of the Margaret River Pro chose to resume the event with additional safety measures in place.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic told the ABC that the man body-surfed to the beach after a shark pushed him off his board.

"A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board", he said.

Mick Fanning was about to fight for a World Surf competition circuit victory in South Africa, when the battle turned to one for his life.

Winter weather advisory issued
Areas of light snow will continue into this afternoon with additional accumulation amounts of around an inch possible. A winter weather advisory has been issued in Lincoln Park from 8 p.m.

'There was a lot more thrashing around.

"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".

A spokeswoman for the event said the surf contest was under way at Margaret River's main break at the time of the attack.

North Point, Big Rock and Lefthanders have also been closed, and Fisheries has advised beachgoers to take additional caution in the Gracetown area.

Surfing WA event director Justin Majeks says Mr Travaglini is a "valued work crew member" at the Margaret River Pro.

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

Another witness, Brett Newland, told the station it was a "large shark" and that "from the way it was behaving, it would have been a white pointer" - better known as a great white.

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

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