Shark Attack Puts Margaret River Pro on hold!
Argentinian surfer hit by shark at nearby Cobblestones…
An Argentinian surfer has been flown to Perth from Margaret River after a shark attack two hours ago at Cobblestones, a hollow reef peak near Margaret River. The man, in his thirties, was reported by paramedics to be “conscious and breathing.”
Friends of the man used leg-ropes to stanch leg wounds.
The surf photographer Peter Jovic, who saw the attack, told the ABC, “There was a lot more thrashing around. After that it was hard to see what was going on. [I] saw the guy who had been attacked get separated from the [surf] board and then start to paddle for an inside wave, which he managed to body surf all the way in. They got him to shore and started working on him to stem the bleeding.”
The WSL responded by suspending competition.
“The World Surf League (WSL) has been alerted to a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown. The safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority for the WSL. We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes.”
The, ah, women will resume round two when the contest restarts at 10:40, local time with “further enhanced safety measures, including ski and drone presence.”
In 2004, Brad Smith, who was 24, was killed by a shark while surfing at the nearby reef, Lefthanders.
In 2010, Nick Edwards, who was 31, was killed by a shark while surfing South Point, across the Bay from yesterday’s competition at North Point.
In 2011, the bodyboarder Kyle Burden, who was 21, was killed at Bunker Bay, a short drive around the Cape.
In 2013, Chris Boyd, who was 35, was killed by a shark while surfing at Umbies, near Cobblestones.
Meanwhile, Hamelin Bay, which is fifty clicks down the road remains closed after a mass whale beaching resulted in the deaths of more than 140 short finned pilot whales.
“There were concerns over the weekend that the carcasses could attract sharks,” reported the Guardian Express.
After discussing with local authorities, the Water Safety Team and surfers, the WSL Commissioner's Office has decided to resume competition for the Margaret River Pro at Main Break at 10:40am, following a one-hour hold prompted by reports of a shark incident at Gracetown – approximately 15 kms away from the event site. Surfer and Staff safety are top priorities for the WSL and when competition resumes, further enhanced safety measures, including ski and drone presence, will be added to the event's mitigation protocols. We look forward to a great completion of the event.