Shark mauls surfer off southwest Australia, injuring legs

There are reports a person has been bitten by a shark

Camera Icon There are reports a person has been bitten by

A shark mauled a surfer off the south-west Australian coast, inflicting serious injuries to both legs, an official said.

A man in his 30s, who was surfing at Cobblestones Beach near Gracetown, was bitten on the leg but managed to body surf to shore where bystanders used a rope from his surfboard to apply a torniquet.

"There was a lot more thrashing around after that, it was pretty hard to see what was going on". The hospital describes the victim's condition as stable.

He has since entered the operating theatre for surgery on his wounds, and has been transferred to the State Trauma Unit.

"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.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic told the ABC that the man body-surfed to the beach after a shark pushed him off his board.

Jovic said everyone was "walking around like stunned mullets" after the attack.

Beach closures are in place for the Gracetown area, including North Point, Big Rock and Lefthanders.

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It comes after Hawaiian two-time surfing world champion John John Florence had a close encounter with two large sharks last week.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attack would make worldwide news given the Margaret River Pro event was on nearby.

The Shark Smart website said a decomposing whale carcass closeby may be what attracted the predator.

First a Brazilian surfer was airlifted from Cobblestones reportedly being hit by a four-metre Great White, then another surfer was stoic at Lefthanders.

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

Acting Fisheries Minister Roger Cook said his primary concern was for the two victims, but expressed concern that Mr Longgrass was in the water after the beach was closed.

"My thoughts are with him as he receives treatment in hospital", he said.

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