Suspected shark attack at Gracetown in Western Australia

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

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.

The wounded victim is a man in his thirties.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic watched the attack from the beach and likened it to the live broadcast of a shark attack in South Africa in 2015.

He said paramedics on the ground reported that first aid from the man's friends was crucial in the moments after the attack, as they used a leg rope to stem blood flow.

The man is expected to be taken to Royal Perth Hospital.

Another radio caller said other surfers had been spooked by the shark and had started leaving the water just before the attack happened.

"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 moving forward", Mr Majeks said.

Volunteer fire crews are on the beach to assist the helicopter in landing.

Surf Life Saving WA said a shark was spotted at Cobblestones surfing spot.

It seems like the waters were a little risky due to a whale carcass nearby.

The Margaret River Pro global surfing competition is being held nearby and had been taking place in Gracetown over the weekend.

Surfers had been in action this morning in the competition before the attack.

Beach closures are in place around Gracetown including North Point, Big Rock and Left Handers and fisheries officers are monitoring the area.

State Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attack emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines rather than the Labor government's subsidised shark deterrent devices.

We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown.

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