Shark attack victim bodysurfed to shore

Surfers look back at the swell on Cowaramup Bay in Gracetown. Source File pic Getty Images

Surfers look back at the swell on Cowaramup Bay in Gracetown. Source File pic Getty Images

An ambulance and helicopter rescue team were sent to the scene.

Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb was one of the first back in the water at the Margaret River WSL event in Western Australia after a man was attacked by a shark nearby.

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

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

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

"If anyone is familiar with the Mick Fanning moment at Jeffreys Bay a couple of years ago, it was very similar to that, where a shark pretty much popped up and ended up knocking a surfer off his board", Mr Jovic told ABC radio.

"There was a lot more thrashing around".

[I] saw the guy who had been attacked get separated from the [surf] board and then start to paddle for an inside wave, which he managed to body surf all the way in.

The surfer was knocked off his board before being thrashed around, a witness said.

"We could see its fin, and then when it attacked the man we could see its tail splashing and saw it launch up out of the water at him".

"He had cuts to both legs".

The attack occurred shortly before 8:00am local time (0000 GMT) at Cobblestones beach, near where the world's top surfers were competing on the sixth day of the Margaret River Pro event, which is part of the World Surf League Championship Tour.

Heats had today returned to Main Break in Prevelly but the competition was suspended after the attack.

"Surfer and staff safety are top priorities for the World Surf League", a spokeswoman said. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

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