Surfer se­ri­ously hurt in shark at­tack

Kingston Whig-Standard - - WORLD NEWS -

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 Ar­gen­tini­an­born 37-year-old was treated on the beach by paramedics be­fore he was flown by he­li­copter 250 km to a hos­pi­tal in Perth, Ber­toldo said.

The hos­pi­tal de­scribed the vic­tim’s con­di­tion as sta­ble.

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 four-me­ter 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 uniden­ti­fied 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.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A res­cue he­li­copter and other emer­gency ve­hi­cles are seen in Grace­town, Aus­tralia, on Mon­day af­ter a surfer was mauled by a shark.

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