Australian surfer savaged by shark

2012-08-29 13:11
The world's first hybrid shark, containing both common and Australian black tip DNA, have been discovered in Australian waters by local scientists, who say the discovery has implications for the entire shark world. (Pascal Geraghty, NSWDPI, AFP)

The world's first hybrid shark, containing both common and Australian black tip DNA, have been discovered in Australian waters by local scientists, who say the discovery has implications for the entire shark world. (Pascal Geraghty, NSWDPI, AFP)

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Sydney - A surfer has been savaged by a shark off a remote west Australian beach in the sixth serious incident in the state in less than a year, with witnesses on Wednesday telling of water "full of blood".

The man, reported to be in his 30s, was bitten on the abdomen and suffered severe injuries to his right arm while trying to fend off the shark at far-flung Red Bluff - a popular surf spot about 1 000km north of Perth.

A fellow surfer dragged the man onto his board and brought him ashore after Tuesday afternoon's attack, with witnesses recounting gruesome scenes.

"The water was full of blood," said local woman Rebecca Caldwell.

The man was wrapped in towels to stem blood loss and driven almost two hours down unsealed roads to a waiting ambulance, according to Caldwell's husband Jim, the local campground manager.

"We were keeping him talking, that was the main thing, to keep him coherent," Caldwell told The West Australian newspaper, describing the victim as "tough as nails".

Great white suspected

"It was all about keeping the pressure on, the blood loss was our biggest concern."

It is the sixth serious attack off Australia's west coast in less than a year, with a fatality north of Perth last month - the fifth in less than 12 months - renewing debate about whether great whites should remain protected.

Most fatal attacks in the region involve great whites, among the largest shark species in the world and made famous by the horror movie Jaws.

Western Australia Fisheries spokesperson Tony Cappelluti told ABC radio it was "very difficult to speculate" what kind of shark it was in the latest attack, with tiger sharks "fairly prevalent" in the area but great whites also present.

Cappelluti said the beach was closed but due to its remoteness authorities were not likely to hunt the shark in question, with "resources a bit thin up there".

Read more on:    australia  |  shark attacks

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