An official and a witness said that a surfer mauled by a shark off south western Australia managed to swim to shore despite sustaining serious levels of injuries to both of his legs, an official and a witness said.
St John Ambulance spokesman, Dennis Bertoldo said that at around 8am, Alejandro Travaglini was surfing at Gracetown when he was attacked.
Bertoldo said that the Argentinian-born 37-year-old was attended to on the beach by paramedics before he was flown by helicopter 250 kilometers (160 miles) to a hospital in the city of Perth.
Reports from the Local media suggested that the surfer defended himself against the shark before he could be able to bodysurf back to shore.
When contacted, the hospital said that the victim’s condition was stable.
The attack made the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro international surfing contest for about an hour.
However, another surfer near the same beach was reportedly attacked later in the day. Luckily, he suffered only minor injuries.
League deputy commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer, said that the competition had employed the use of additional shark-spotting drones and jet skis when the competition resumed to ensure the safety of the competitors.
In a statement on the league’s website, Miley-Dyer said,
“We wanted to reconvene and make sure we had everything possible in the water to look after those surfers.”
Surf photographer, Peter Jovic watched the attack from the beach and likened it to the live broadcast of a shark attack in South Africa in 2015.
Former champion surfer, Mick Fanning managed to get away without a scratch when a great white shark attacked his board as he waited to catch a wave.
Jovic told ABC radio,
“If anyone is familiar with the Mick Fanning moment … it was very similar to that, where a shark pretty much popped up and ended up knocking a surfer off his board.
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.”