Surfer seriously injured in shark attack off southwest Australia coast

Shark Attack Near Gracetown

Shark Attack Near Gracetown

Lifeguards said a 13ft shark was spotted off a nearby beach two hours after the attack.

BC-AS-Australia-Shark Attack, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 339Surfer mauled by shark swims to shore despite leg injuriesAP Photo TKSK801Eds: Updates with new details including a report of another shark attack.

A spokeswoman for the event said the surf contest was under way at Margaret River's main break at the time of the attack.

"There was a lot more thrashing around after that, it was pretty hard to see what was going on".

A man in his 30s has been bitten by a shark near Gracetown in Western Australia's South West, with organisers temporarily suspending the nearby Margaret River Pro worldwide surfing competition.

A professional surfing event off Western Australia was briefly suspended Monday after a shark attack nearby.

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

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.

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

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

"The safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority for the WSL".

In a statement posted to its Facebook page following the incident, the WSL said it had made a decision to suspend the competition for an hour after "discussions with local authorities". "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

A member of the public reported an unknown species of shark off Cobblestones just moments after the attack, and the Surf Life Saving Westpac helicopter reported a four-metre shark just after 10am near the Lefthanders surf spot.

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