Margaret River surfing competition on hold after shark attack

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Margaret River surfing competition on hold after shark attack

A man, aged in his 30s, has been bitten by a shark in Gracetown in Western Australia's south.

The attack occurred shortly before 8:00am local time (0000 GMT) at Cobblestones beach, near where the world's top surfers were competing on the sixth day of the Margaret River Pro event, which is part of the World Surf League Championship Tour.

He 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.

He is conscious and breathing and is being taken to the Royal Perth Hospital by RAC Rescue.

Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attack would make worldwide news because of the Pro event.

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

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

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

"Typically we have three or four in the water dedicated to surfer safety and also to our shark safety protocol and we've stepped that up now, we've actually got seven in the line-up and we've increased our drone presence to two".

He said the incident emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines, rather than the Labor government's subsidised shark deterrent devices.

"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. After that it was hard to see what was going on".

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, AAP reported.

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.

Mr Jovic said everyone was "walking around like stunned mullets" after the attack. Chris Boyd, 35, was killed at nearby Umbies surf break in 2013.

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