Shark mauls surfer off southwest Australia, injuring legs

Ruben Hill
April 16, 2018

A shark attack on a surfer in Australia has forced the temporary suspension of an global surfing competition.

A professional surfing event off Western Australia was briefly suspended Monday after a shark attack nearby. With AP Photos.A surfer mauled by a shark off southwestern Australia managed to swim to shore despite serious injuries to both of his legs, an official and a witness said.

Speaking after the attack, that left bite marks to the bone on his leg, Mr Longgrass said he slapped the water in a bid to scare it off.

He is conscious and breathing and is being taken to the Royal Perth Hospital by RAC Rescue.

Friends used the rope from the victim's board and gave him first aid until emergency crews arrived from Margaret River within six minutes, a St John Ambulance spokesman told AAP. He is being transferred to the state trauma unit where he will continue his recovery.

"There was a lot more thrashing around after that, it was pretty hard to see what was going on".

According to The West Australian, John John and Nathan Florence encountered two large sharks during a free surf in the days leading up the Margaret River Pro.

"Surfer safety is the foremost of our minds".

The Gracetown area, well-known for its surf breaks, also has a high fatality record when it comes to shark attacks, with five surfers killed in separate occasions in the past decade. Organizers added more drones and jet skis to ensure the safety of competitors.

"That could lead to sharks coming close in to shore along this stretch of coast", a statement said.

With all eyes on the nearby contest at Margaret River, WSL officials chose to put the event on hold-and considering Mick Fanning's close call at the J-Bay Open in 2015, it seems like a good call.

A similar incident occurred off the east coast of Florida a few days earlier, when a great white shark was filmed making laps around a fishermen boat.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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