Gracetown shark attack: Second surfer injured in South West

Gracetown shark attack: Second surfer injured in South West

A man suffered leg injuries on Monday after he was attacked by a shark off Australia's southwestern coast, forcing authorities to shut down a nearby global surfing competition.

The attack prompted the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro worldwide surfing contest.

The wounded victim is a man in his thirties.

A spokesman from the ambulance service said the victim was breathing and conscious on the way to Royal Perth hospital.

The man, in his 30's, was bitten on the lower leg at Cobblestones beach in Gracetown just before 8am on Monday but managed to body surf back to shore before friends used rope from his board as a tourniquet.

Surf Life Saving Western Australia confirmed the shark sighting after receiving a report from the public.

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

Mr Newland said the man was conscious the whole time.

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"All the other surfers swam to him, helped him get away from his board and leg rope and helped him get on a wave, and luckily [he] caught a wave onto the reef".

According to The West Australian, John John and Nathan Florence encountered two large sharks during a free surf in the days leading up the Margaret River Pro.

"Surfer and staff safety are top priorities for the World Surf League", a spokeswoman said.

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

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

"We are confident, we wouldn't have resumed if we didn't feel that way", World Surf League (WSL) commissioner Kieren Perrow said.
"We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes", the WSL's organisers tweeted.

"Surfer safety is the foremost of our minds".

Surfers had been in action this morning in the competition before the attack. "We saw a splash", John John explains in the video, "so we put the contest on hold and chose to put the drone up to check out what was going on... and we found two sharks".

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