Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Shark attacks on two men in WA

Surfers look back at the swell on Cowaramup Bay in Gracetown. Source File pic Getty Images Surfers look back at the swell on Cowaramup Bay in Gracetown. Source File pic Getty Images
Kenny Thornton | 16 April, 2018, 12:36

A surfer has been taken to hospital after a shark attack in Gracetown, Western Australia.

St John Ambulance spokesman Dennis Bertoldo said the man, in his 30s, was surfing at Gracetown today when he was attacked.

Nine Network television news reported a 41-year-old surfer sustained a large gash to his right thigh from a shark later Monday at a beach near where the attack occurred.

"A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board", surf photographer Peter Jovic, who witnessed the attack, told ABC.

"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. "After that it was hard to see what was going on".

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The RAC Rescue Helicopter arrived at Royal Perth Hospital just after 10.30am and the man was in a stable condition on arrival. "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".

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

The attack prompted the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro global surfing contest for about an hour.

Surfing WA event director Justin Majeks says Mr Travaglini is a "valued work crew member" at the Margaret River Pro. Chris Boyd, 35, was killed at nearby Umbies surf break in 2013. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

The contest was initially put on hold with organisers saying the "safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority".

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