Surfer mauled by shark swims to shore despite leg injuries

Surfer mauled by shark swims to shore despite leg injuries

Surf photographer Peter Jovic watched the attack from the beach and likened it to the live broadcast of a shark attack in South Africa in 2015.

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.

"The World Surf League (WSL) has been alerted to a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", a WSL spokesman said. "There was a lot more thrashing around".

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.

"We could see its fin, and then when it attacked the man we could see its tail splashing and saw it launch up out of the water at him".

It's understood the sharks could be in the area due to a whale carcass reported by Fisheries, and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions officers are working towards its removal.

The Surf Life Saving WA Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter will also conduct aerial patrols.

The Margaret River Pro global surfing competition, which is about 15km away from the attack, was suspended for about one hour, but then resumed at Main Break with Kiwi Hareb one of the two surfers who went back in the water first.

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Gracetown beaches, including North Point, Big Rock and Lefthanders, have been closed.

Event organisers put the competition on hold but have not said whether the victim was taking part in the competition.

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

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

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

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

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

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