Two shark attacks were reported in the same area, just hours apart, in Western Australia on Monday.
The first attack took place on Monday morning at the Cobblestones beach near Gracetown, a small town 269 kilometers (167 miles) south of Perth.
A 37-year-old surfer, identified as local resident Alejandro Travaglini by the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), was airlifted to a hospital in Perth after a shark knocked him off his board and fellow surfers helped him get to safety.
“The last thing I see is the guy going down, then coming up, then he actually had to bodysurf back into shore,” one witness, Russell Morris, told Reuters.
“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,” another witness, Brett Newland, told ABC. “The surfers that helped him in got tourniquets on his legs as soon as they got on the shallow reef,” he added.
The beach was closed off and the Margaret River Pro, a surfing competition taking place nine miles from the location of the attack, was temporarily suspended, but resumed a few hours later “with enhanced safety measures,” the World Surf League announced on Twitter.
Despite the beach closure following the first attack, some surfers could still be seen catching waves in the water, and a few hours later, another man had a close encounter with a shark.
Michael Stamp, a reporter for local channel Nine News Perth, took a picture of 41-year-old Jason Longgrass as the paramedic attended to his leg injury at a safe location near the Left Handers surfing spot.
His red surf board could be spotted nearby, bearing the mark of the shark’s bite.
The other surfer, Travaglini, was recovering from surgery to both his legs and issued a statement saying “I just want to thank all the legends who helped me up at the beach,” according to ABC journalist Gian De Poloni.
Surf Life Saving WA reported a series of sharks in the area on Monday, including a 13-foot great white shark at the surfing spot where the second attack occurred.
The Gracetown area, well-known for its surf breaks, also has a high fatality record when it comes to shark attacks, with five surfers killed in separate occasions in the past decade.
It’s not just surfers who encounter sharks in Australian waters, as policemen on a boat recently discovered when they had a shark closely tailing them while on patrol on March 31.
A similar incident occurred off the east coast of Florida a few days earlier, when a great white shark was filmed making laps around a fishermen boat.
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