Update, 7pm: A 34-year-old man is receiving treatment after being mauled by a shark at a popular surfing spot north of Carnarvon this afternoon.
Police said the man suffered abdominal and severe injuries to his right arm while surfing at Red Bluff near Quobba Station, about 160km north of Carnarvon about 3.30pm.
People at a campsite near the remote location drove the man into town before being met halfway by an ambulance which took him to Carnarvon Hospital.
He was in a stable condition but is expected to be flown by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Royal Perth Hospital later tonight for further treatment.
Tim Meecham, who owns a campsite out at Red Bluff, said he believed the man was surfing with a mate at the time of the attack.
“It’s a pretty random sort of thing, … there were people further out and people closer in (from where the man was surfing),” he said.
Fisheries Department regional manager Tony Cappelluti said authorities were not sure what type of shark it was or exactly how far off-shore it attacked.
Department officers were being sent to the area to warn people about the incident, but had not launched a boat to hunt for the animal.
The beach will remain closed for at least 24 hours.
Carnarvon Shire chief executive Maurice Battilana said Red Bluff was a popular and “world-renowned” surfing spot, which was also heavily frequented by tourists.
Mr Battilana said the shire would be guided by the DEC in regards to how long the beach would remain closed. In April last year, a 17-year-old youth was bitten on the heel by a shark while he was cleaning fish at Red Bluff.
Today’s incident is the sixth serious shark attack in less than a year in WA. The previous five attacks were all fatal, with the most recent occurring near Wedge Island in July, when a Great White fatally mauled surfer Ben Linden, 24, while he was surfing with a mate.
In March, Busselton man Peter Kurmann, 33, was diving off Stratham Beach near Bunbury when he was attacked and killed by a 4m great white.
There were two fatal attacks in WA in October. Bryn Martin, 64, was believed killed by a 3m great white while swimming at Cottesloe Beach and Texan George Thomas Wainwright was mauled while diving from a boat about 500m off Little Armstrong Bay at Rottnest Island.
The first of the recent spate of shark deaths took place last September when body boarder Kyle Burden was fatally bitten at Bunker Bay, near Dunsborough.
In June, a Perth surf ski paddler escaped uninjured when a shark bit his surf ski in half off Mullaloo Beach north of Perth.