Shark Attack/Incident Near Gracetown Stops The Margaret River Pro

16 Apr 2018 1

Photo: Instagram/@surf.sup.australia

Photo: Instagram/@surf.sup.australia

COASTALWATCH | NEWS

A surfer was airlifted to Perth Hospital at 8am (WA time) Monday April 16 after suffering a shark incident/attack at Cobblestones surfbreak near Gracetown, WA.

The surfer, reported to be a Brazillian in his 30s in Australia on a working visa, is said to have been knocked from his board and suffered injuries to both his legs. He was helped up the beach by other surfers (after reportedly bodysurfing himself to shore!) where they performed emergency First Aid before the arrival of ambulances.

The species of the shark is unknown, although a four metre shark was sighted in the area two hours later:


The incident took place at the same time the WSL was running the Women's Margaret River Pro, a Championship Tour event, just a 20 minute drive away at Margaret River Main Break. The WSL put the competition on hold for an hour as they implimented their safety protocols for such an event. 

The WSL stated on their Instagram:

"After discussing with local authorities, the Water Safety Team and surfers, the WSL Commissioner's Office has decided to resume competition for the Margaret River Pro at Main Break at 10:40am, following a one-hour hold prompted by reports of a shark incident at Gracetown - approximately 15 kms away from the event site. 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. We look forward to a great completion of the event."

The WSL had just run the competition in the Gracetown area at North Point on Friday and Saturday.

Shark Smart (a West Austalian Government website initiated for community shark safety) has stated that a dead whale at Lefthanders, a break just south of Cobblestones where the incident took place, may have increased the risk of shark attack in the area.

"It is possible the decomposing carcass will continue to act as an attractant that could lead to sharks coming close in to shore along this stretch of coast," it stated.

The surfbreaks and beaches of the Gracetwon area, including North Point, Big Rock and Left Handers have been closed.



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