The moment a young surfer was attacked by a great white shark at a popular surfing spot in Western Australia has been captured on video.
The man, aged in his 20s, was bitten on his leg while surfing at Gnarabup Beach on Monday morning and incredibly managed to paddle 600m back to the beach while bleeding heavily – a move that saved his life.
Surf camera footage shows wild splashing in the water and the man’s surfboard raising into the air as the shark clamped down on his left leg.
After making it to shore, an off-duty nurse was able to provide first aid to the deep wound before he was taken to Margaret River Hospital by private car, and then on to Bunbury Regional Hospital by ambulance.
The victim appeared to be calm and alert on arrival at Bunbury, with 9 News footage showing the young man sitting upright while holding a green whistle for pain relief.
Officers from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River initially closed the stretch of beaches from Gas Bay to Margaret River Mouth Beach after the attack and a subsequent sighting of a 2.5m white shark, however the beaches were reopened before lunchtime on Tuesday.
“Community members are encouraged to take additional caution in the Gnarabup and Prevelly area,” the council advised online.
It is the state’s seventh shark attack this year, including the fatal mauling of schoolgirl Stella Berry in February who was swimming in the Swan River when she was set upon by a bull shark.
Shark warning amid mass whale stranding
More than 400km away at Cheyne Beach, at least 51 pilot whales have died in a mass stranding – prompting WA’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) to warn the public of a possible increase in shark activity in the area.
“It is possible dead and injured animals will act as an attractant that could lead to sharks coming close in to shore along this stretch of coast,” the department said on their Shark Smart website.
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