Surfer makes it back to beach with both legs mauled by shark - KMOV.com

Surfer makes it back to beach with both legs mauled by shark

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PERTH, Australia -- A surfer mauled by a shark Monday off southwestern Australia managed to swim to shore despite serious injuries to both of his legs, an official and a witness said. Alejandro Travaglini was surfing at Gracetown around 8 a.m. when he was attacked, St. John Ambulance spokesman Dennis Bertoldo said.

The Argentinian-born 37-year-old was treated on the beach by paramedics before he was flown by helicopter 160 miles to a hospital in the city of Perth, Bertoldo said.

The hospital described the victim's condition as stable.


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The attack prompted the World Surf League to postpone the nearby Margaret River Pro international surfing contest for about an hour.

Organizers had deployed additional shark-spotting drones and jet skis when the competition resumed to ensure competitors' safety, league deputy commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer said.

"We wanted to reconvene and make sure we had everything possible in the water to look after those surfers," Miley-Dyer said in a statement on the league's website.

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 escaped unscathed when a great white attacked his board as he waited to catch a wave.

"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," Jovic told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"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," Jovic said.

Lifeguards said a 13-foot shark was spotted off a nearby beach two hours after the attack.

Nine Network television news reported a 41-year-old surfer sustained a large gash to his right thigh from a shark later Monday at a beach near where the attack occurred.

"Happy to be alive," the unnamed man told bystanders who asked if he was OK. The man insisted he could drive himself to a hospital.

A surfer was killed by a shark at Gracetown in 2013.

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