Shark attacks surfer in Western Australia

Shark attacks surfer in Western Australia

Shark attacks surfer in Western Australia

A man suffered leg injuries on Monday (April 16) after he was attacked by a shark off Australia's southwestern coast, forcing authorities to shut down a nearby worldwide surfing competition.

The hospital described the victim's condition as stable.

Photographer Peter Jovic, a witness to the incident, told ABC how the surfer had managed to "body surf" back to the beach after being attacked. An ambulance and helicopter rescue team were sent to the scene.

Friends used the rope from the victim's board as a tourniquet and gave him first aid until emergency crews arrived from Margaret River within six minutes, AAP reported.

A spokeswoman said he was being assessed in the Emergency Department and would be transported to the state trauma unit on Monday afternoon.

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A Saint John Ambulance spokesman said the man was conscious and breathing, and was now being flown to Royal Perth Hospital.

Another radio caller said other surfers had been spooked by the shark and had started leaving the water just before the attack happened.

He said the man was bitten and paddled back to shore.

Organisers confirmed the incident off the coast of Gracetown - 260 kilometres south of Western Australia's capital Perth - which prompted a one-hour suspension in the competition. Under an agreement with the federal government, WA fisheries officers are authorised to kill sharks that are identified as causing an "serious threat" to human life, such as those involved in an attack.

"The surfer who was being attacked ended up miraculously body surfing into a little wave and getting pushed in by a local at the same time, who was out there with him, and making it to shore before everyone came to his aid", Jovic added.

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"They got him to shore and started working on him to stem the bleeding".

The Margaret River Pro was initially put on hold by the World Surf League but organisers made a decision to allow the competition to resume at 10.40am.

"We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", the tweet said.

"We are placing the Margaret River Pro on hold while we work with local authorities on next steps".

"The safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority".

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A spokeswoman said the comeptition wanted to make sure that the surfers were protected. Organizers added more drones and jet skis to ensure the safety of competitors. A four meter shark was later spotted nearby.

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