Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Shark attack halts Australia surf competition

Shark attack halts Australia surf competition

A second surfer was reportedly attacked at Lefthanders surf break, near Cobblestones surfing break, where a man was bitten on the leg about 8.20am.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic told the ABC that the man body-surfed to the beach after a shark pushed him off his board. "There was a lot more thrashing around".

The shark attack victim was flown to hospital after being given first aid by friends who stemmed the blood flow using a leg rope.

He was treated on the beach by paramedics before being flown 160 miles by helicopter to a hospital in Perth, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

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

Mr Newland said the man was conscious the whole time.

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

The Shark Smart website says the carcass could make nearby waters risky until it's removed.

"After discussing with local authorities, the water safety team and surfers, the WSL commissioner's office has made a decision to resume competition for the Margaret River Pro at Main Break at 10.40am, following a one-hour hold prompted by reports of a shark incident at Gracetown - approximately 15km away from the event site", a spokeswoman said.

With all eyes on the nearby contest at Margaret River, WSL officials made a decision 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.

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

Former champion surfer Mick Fanning escaped unscathed when a great white attacked his board as he waited to catch a wave.

"Surfer and staff safety are top priorities for the WSL and when competition resumes, further enhanced safety measures, including ski and drone presence, will be added to the event's mitigation protocols".

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

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