Australia-Shark Attack,1st Ld-Writethru, AS

Shark Attack Near Gracetown

Surf Life Saving Western Australia confirmed the shark sighting after receiving a report from the public.

"The World Surf League (WSL) has been alerted to a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", a WSL spokesman said. The Argentinian-born 37-year-old was treated on the beach by paramedics before he was flown by helicopter 250 kilometers (160 miles) to a hospital in the city of Perth, Bertoldo said.

In that instance, friends used the rope from the victim's board as a tourniquet and gave him first aid until emergency crews arrived from Margaret River within six minutes, according to a St John Ambulance spokesman. The hospital describes the victim's condition as stable. He is being transferred to the state trauma unit where he will continue his recovery.

'There was a lot more thrashing around.

Photographer Peter Jovic, a witness to the incident, told ABC how the surfer had managed to "body surf" back to the beach after being attacked.

"I$3 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".

Mr Jovic said everyone was "walking around like stunned mullets" after the attack.

Lifeguards said a 4-meter (13-foot) shark was spotted off a nearby beach two hours after the attack.

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The orders came after a whale carcass washed up at the beach near Lefthanders.

The Margaret River Pro surfing competition, about 15km away, was suspended for one hour before resuming at Main Break with enhanced safety measures including skis and drones.

"The safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority for the WSL".

The Margaret River Pro is being held nearby and had been taking place in Gracetown over the weekend.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attacks emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines rather than the WA Labor government's subsidised deterrent devices.

Another witness, Brett Newland, said there were about five surfers in the area when "a big shark popped up in the water amongst them".

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

AAP is seeking comment from Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly.

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