Shark attack closes Margaret River pro surfing event

Shark attack closes Margaret River pro surfing event

The Margaret River Pro surf event featuring the world's top surfing talent has been suspended in Western Australia on Monday, after a man was attacked by a shark on Cobbelstones break in Gracetown.

The Margaret River Pro was initially put on hold by the World Surf League but organisers made a decision to allow the competition to resume at 10.40am.

BC-AS-Australia-Shark Attack, 1st Ld-Writethru, 265Surfer mauled by shark swims to shore despite leg injuriesEds: Adds detail and witness accountA surfer mauled by a shark off southwest Australia managed to swim to shore despite serious injuries to both of his legs, an official and a witness said.

According to reports, a man in his 30s was bitten by a shark at around 7:45 am.

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

VideoA witness to the Gracetown shark attack spoke to ABC Breakfast about the incident.

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

"We are confident, we wouldn't have resumed if we didn't feel that way", World Surf League (WSL) commissioner Kieren Perrow said.


"If anyone is familiar with the Mick Fanning moment at Jeffreys Bay it was quite similar to that, where a shark pretty much popped up and knocked a surfer off his board".

The surfer suffered signficant leg injuries and was flown to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), where he is recovering from surgery and is expected to be transferred to the trauma unit.

'There was a lot more thrashing around. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes", the WSL's organisers tweeted.

He said the incident emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines, rather than the Labor government's subsidised shark deterrent devices. "After that it was hard to see what was going on".

Mr Newland said the man was conscious the whole time.

"It was a large shark and from the way it was behaving, it would have been a white pointer".

"Surfer safety is the foremost of our minds". Chris Boyd, 35, was killed at nearby Umbies surf break in 2013.

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