Gracetown shark attack: Second surfer injured in South West

A surfer is fighting for life after being attacked by a shark causing a nearby surfing competition to be put on hold

The attack prompted the World Surf League to temporarily postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro surfing contest.

The attack at Cobblestones beach was reported shortly before 8am, with an ambulance crew from Margaret River and the rescue helicopter sent to the scene.

"Sharks are still a threat to surfers and people in the ocean here", he told reporters.

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.

'A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board, ' he said.

"They got him to shore and started working on him to stem the bleeding".

Another radio caller said other surfers had been spooked by the shark and had started leaving the water just before the attack happened.

"It swam under a couple of guys and came around and bit a third person", he said. Channel Nine reports the man was conscious and breathing when he was pulled from the water.

There have been three fatal shark attacks in the area since 2004, when Bradley Smith was fatally mauled by a great white.

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

"He had cuts to both legs".

Gracetown beaches, including North Point, Big Rock and Lefthanders, have been closed.

The Shark Smart website said a decomposing whale carcass closeby may be what attracted the predator.

The incident forced competition to be suspended at the nearby Margaret River Pro, but the action resumed a short time ago. "The #MargiesPro is on hold while we work with local authorities".

"We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", organisers said on Monday.

Organisers made a decision to resume the competition about an hour later with "enhanced safety measures" after discussions with local authorities and surfers. "We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes".

Hawaiian pro surfer John John Florence had a close encounter while surfing in the region in the lead up to the competition.

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