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'Shark Incident' Puts Margaret River Event on Hold

16 April 2018

The Margaret River Pro surf event has resumed despite a nearby shark attack.

The first victim - a 37-year-old man - was flown to Perth via RAC Rescue helicopter.

Channel Nine reporter Michael Stamp said the man did not realise the beach was closed.

"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", a statement said.

A spokesman from the ambulance service said the victim was breathing and conscious on the way to Royal Perth hospital. He is in a stable condition after being bitten on the lower leg.

Witnesses said he managed to swim back to the shore, where he is being treated for leg injuries.

"All the other surfers swam to him, helped him get away from his board and leg rope and helped him get on a wave, and luckily [he] caught a wave onto the reef".

Surf photographer Peter Jovic witnessed the attack from the beach.

'A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board, ' he said.

"There was a lot more thrashing around after that, it was pretty hard to see what was going on".

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Mr Newland said the man was conscious the whole time.

It is understood the man has lived in Gracetown for some time, with one friend describing him as "an awesome guy".

The attack prompted the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro global surfing contest.

The World Surf League have tweeted that they will be putting the World Surf League on hold as a result of the incident.

The Margaret River Pro began last Friday and had been taking place in Gracetown over the weekend.

"We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", the tweet said.

Although it has not been confirmed what kind of shark is believed to have attacked the man, earlier this morning Surf Life Saving Western Australia reported several sightings in the area, including a four-metre Great White.

AAP is seeking comment from Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly.

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

'Shark Incident' Puts Margaret River Event on Hold