Margaret River Pro surf event suspended due to nearby shark attack

Man attacked by shark near Gracetown in WA's South West

An RAC Rescue Helicopter was sent to the scene after the male was attacked by a shark about 8am on Monday morning.

A surfer has been taken to hospital after a shark attack in Gracetown, Western Australia.

In that instance, friends used the rope from the victim's board as a tourniquet and gave him first aid until emergency crews arrived from Margaret River within six minutes, according to a St John Ambulance spokesman.

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

The Margaret River Pro event, part of the World Surf Tour, was put on hold for an hour after the attack at Gracetown, about 15 kilometeres (nine miles) away.

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.

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

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Speaking after the attack, that left bite marks to the bone on his leg, Mr Longgrass said he slapped the water in a bid to scare it off.

It's understood the sharks could be in the area due to a whale carcass reported by Fisheries, and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions officers are working towards its removal.

"He had cuts to both legs".

The attack prompted the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro global surfing contest for about an hour. "The #MargiesPro is on hold while we work with local authorities".

"Surfer and staff safety are top priorities for the WSL and when competition resumes, further enhanced safety measures, including ski and drone presence, will be added to the event's mitigation protocols".

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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