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'Shark Incident' Puts Margaret River Event on Hold
16 April 2018, 11:12 | Glen Norman
A surfer has been taken to hospital after a shark attack in Gracetown, Western Australia.
The Margaret River Pro worldwide surfing competition, which is about 15km away from the attack, was suspended for about one hour, but then resumed at Main Break with Kiwi Hareb one of the two surfers who went back in the water first.
The man was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived and was flown to Royal Perth Hospital.
St John Ambulance said the man in his 30s was being treated for leg injuries.
A 4-metre white shark was later spotted by the crew of Surf Live Saving WA's helicopter.
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attack would make global news because of the Pro event. "The #MargiesPro is on hold while we work with local authorities".
Organisers chose to resume the competition about an hour later with "enhanced safety measures" after discussions with local authorities and surfers.
Surfers look back at the swell on Cowaramup Bay, in Gracetown. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".
Surf photographer Peter Jovic told the ABC that the man body-surfed to the beach after a shark pushed him off his board.
'A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board, ' he said.
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He said the incident emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines, rather than the Labor government's subsidised shark deterrent devices.
"There was a lot more thrashing around after that, it was pretty hard to see what was going on". The safety of our surfers & staff is a top priority.
Mr Jovic said everyone was "walking around like stunned mullets" after the attack.
A surfer mauled by a shark Monday off southwest Australia managed to swim to shore despite serious injuries to both of his legs, an official and a witness said.
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. Chris Boyd, 35, was killed at nearby Umbies surf break in 2013.
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