May 20, 2018

Shark mauls surfer off Australian coast

16 April 2018, 12:25 | Taylor George

'Shark Incident' Puts Margaret River Event on Hold

Shark attack at Gracetown beach: reports

The attack prompted the World Surf League (WSL) to temporarily postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro surfing contest, with lifeguards having spotted a 13-foot-long shark just off a nearby beach two hours later.

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.

Alejandro Travaglini was surfing at Gracetown around 8 a.m. when he was attacked, St. John Ambulance spokesman Dennis Bertoldo said.

Image: An RAC rescue helicopter at the scene.

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

'There was a lot more thrashing around.

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

"Sharks are still a threat to surfers and people in the ocean here", he told reporters.

"It swam under a couple of guys and came around and bit a third person", he said.

Shark attack at Gracetown beach: reports

A witness to the Gracetown shark attack spoke to ABC Breakfast about the incident. Former champion surfer Mick Fanning escaped unscathed when a great white attacked his board as he waited to catch a wave.

"We're sending our thoughts and prayers to him and his family during this hard time and we're working together to do everything we can to support him and his family", Mr Majeks said.

"He had cuts to both legs".

After assessing the situation, organizers of the Margaret River Pro made a decision to resume the event with additional safety measures in place.

Heats had today returned to Main Break in Prevelly but the competition was suspended after the attack.

Emergency services are responding to reports that a man has been bitten by a shark near Gracetown in Western Australia's South West.

"We are placing the Margaret River Pro on hold while we work with local authorities on next steps".

"Surfer and staff safety are top priorities for the World Surf League", a spokeswoman said. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

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