Margaret River Pro surf event suspended due to nearby shark attack

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Margaret River Pro surf event suspended due to nearby shark attack

A shark attack in nearby Gracetown has caused WSL officials to put the Margaret River event on hold.

The attack at Cobblestones beach was reported shortly before 8am, with an ambulance crew from Margaret River and the rescue helicopter sent to the scene.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic was on the beach and witnessed the surfer being mauled by the shark, ABC News reported.

"If anyone is familiar with the Mick Fanning moment at Jeffreys Bay it was quite similar to that, where a shark pretty much popped up and knocked a surfer off his board".

Surf Life Saving WA had noted several sightings of sharks in the area, including a four-metre shark off Lefthanders, near where the attack happened, this morning. "After that it was hard to see what was going on".

"The surfer who was being attacked ended up miraculously body surfing into a little wave and getting pushed in by a local at the same time, who was out there with him, and making it to shore before everyone came to his aid", Jovic added.

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

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According to The West Australian, John John and Nathan Florence encountered two large sharks during a free surf in the days leading up the Margaret River Pro.

The surfer suffered signficant leg injuries and was flown to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), where he is recovering from surgery and is expected to be transferred to the trauma unit.

The Shark Smart website says the carcass could make nearby waters unsafe until it's removed.

The incident forced competition to be suspended at the nearby Margaret River Pro, but the action resumed a short time ago.

"We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", organisers said on Monday. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attack would make global news given the Margaret River Pro event was on nearby.

Hawaiian pro surfer John John Florence had a close encounter while surfing in the region in the lead up to the competition.

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