Shark Attack Near Gracetown

The second victim had not realised that the beach had been closed following the initial attack

A man has been bitten by a shark off the coast of Western Australia, prompting authorities to close down the nearby Margaret River Pro worldwide surfing event. He is in a stable condition after being bitten on the lower leg.

Australia's two-time world champion Tyler Wright and Kiwi Paige Hareb were the first surfers to hit the water for their round-two heat after the shark scare.

The shark attack victim was flown to hospital after being given first aid by friends who stemmed the blood flow using a leg rope.

'There was a lot more thrashing around.

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. Channel Nine reports the man was conscious and breathing when he was pulled from the water.

Mr Jovic said everyone was "walking around like stunned mullets" after the attack.

"The surfer who was being attacked ended up miraculously body-surfing into a little wave and making it into shore before everyone came to his aid".

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AAP understands the man has lived in Gracetown for some time, with one friend describing him as "an awesome guy".

North Point, Big Rock and Lefthanders have also been closed, and Fisheries has advised beachgoers to take additional caution in the Gracetown area.

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.

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

"Further enhanced safety measures, including ski and drone presence, will be added to the event's mitigation protocols".

With all eyes on the nearby contest at Margaret River, WSL officials chose to put the event on hold-and considering Mick Fanning's close call at the J-Bay Open in 2015, it seems like a good call.

Another witness, Brett Newland, told the station it was a "large shark" and that "from the way it was behaving, it would have been a white pointer" - better known as a great white.

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