Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Shark mauls surfer off southwest Australia, injuring legs

Shark Attack Near Gracetown Shark mauls surfer off southwest Australia, injuring legs
Melinda Barton | 16 April, 2018, 13:15

"After discussing with local authorities, the water safety team and surfers, the WSL commissioner's office has chose 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.

Dozens of pro surfers are in the South West to take part in the Margaret River Pro, which is part of the World Surf League Tour.

An ambulance headed to the scene to treat the latest victim, Jason Longgrass, who was attacked at Lefthanders surf break, near to Cobblestones surf break, where a man was bitten on the leg about 8.20am.

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.

Paige Hareb was one of the first surfers back in the water after an hour delay due to a nearby shark attack.

"The safety of our surfers & staff is a top priority". "There was a lot more thrashing around".

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.

"If anyone is familiar with the Mick Fanning moment at Jeffreys Bay a couple of years ago, it was very similar to that, where a shark pretty much popped up and ended up knocking a surfer off his board", Mr Jovic told ABC radio.

"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".

Organizers had deployed additional shark-spotting drones and jet skis when the competition resumed to ensure competitors' safety, league deputy commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer said.

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

A 4-metre white shark was later spotted by the crew of Surf Live Saving WA's helicopter.

"The current policies are simply not adequate".