Fisheries have killed a shark believed to be responsible for an horrific attack on a 23-year-old Bunbury man near Esperance today.
Sean Pollard lost part of an arm and a hand. He also suffered leg injuries in the attack, which happened at Wylie Bay Beach, about 10km east of Esperance about 11am. A Department of Fisheries boat and two rescue boats were deployed to catch the shark.
A 3-4.5m white pointer was caught on a baited drum line and destroyed late this afternoon.
An RFDS spokesman said a police escort rushed blood to Jandakot Airport for transport to Esperance Hospital, where Mr Pollard was being treated and may have required a transfusion.
He was flown to Perth by RFDS and landed about 4.50pm. Mr Pollard was transported to Royal Perth Hospital and was reportedly conscious and talking to paramedics when he arrived.
The South Bunbury Football Club confirmed via Facebook that the victim was Sean Pollard.
"Thoughts are with Polly and his family from everyone at South Bunbury Football Club," the club posted.
"We are all with you mate."
Sean Pollard arrives in Perth. Picture: Seven news
Department of Fisheries shark response unit manager Lisa Clack said Mr Pollard was surfing 150m from the surf break.
Esperance Shire president Malcolm Heasman said Mr Pollard had been at the beach with his girlfriend.
"I believe he's a 23-year-old from Bunbury. I don't know if he's a holidaymaker or if he's been a resident for a while," he said.
Mr Heasman described the man's injuries as "quite extensive".
"Our prayers are with him and his family as they try to deal with this situation," he said.
Mr Heasman said the family had been notified of the attack.
Soon after the alarm was raised, Esperance surf club lifesavers went to the beach in an inflatable boat to try and retrieve the victim's surfboard. Wylie Bay beach has been closed along with Kelpids Beach to the east.
The Department says the beaches are likely to remain closed for the next few days and urges local people and holiday makers to stay out of the water.
In the past few weeks Fisheries officers have been kept busy with multiple shark sightings off Esperance.
One of these sightings was a great white shark 50m off Wylie Bay.
Two great whites, one 4m long and another smaller shark, were also reported at Kelpids Beach.
Experienced abalone diver Greg Pickering was attacked by a shark off the South East coast, about 160km east of Esperance, a year ago.
In 2006, Zac Golebiowski lost a leg in a great white attack near Esperance.
WA has had seven fatal shark attack in three years - this led the State Government to announce it was looking at how to be more "proactive" in dealing with the threat of sharks.
After shelving drum lines last month, Premier Colin Barnett said the Government would turn its attention to giving greater local authority to speed up the removal of "rogue" sharks.
Mr Barnett said the presence of a shark in the area during school holidays posed a significant threat to public safety.
Because it was an unpatrolled beach, the newly scrapped drum line policy would not have been applicable.
"That said, today's attack is an unfortunate and tragic reminder of how serious the threat is," he said.
Sean Pollard arrives at Esperance Hospital for treatment. Picture: Danielle Halford