KEY POINTS

  • The surfer was taken to a local hospital
  • He was said to be in stable condition
  • The beach has been closed since the attack

A surfer had to be airlifted after reportedly being attacked by a shark off the coast of Leeman in Western Australia. 

A 25-year-old surfer had his calf and ankle bitten by an unknown shark species during a surfing outing Wednesday. The incident occurred at around 2:44 p.m., Australia Western Time (2:44 a.m. ET). Authorities were called after the attack at Gumtree Bay, north of Leeman in the Shire of Carnamah, reported The West Australian.

The surfer suffered from a 20-centimeter laceration on his leg. He was taken to Leeman Nursing Post by ambulance.

According to the St. John Ambulance spokeswoman, the young man was in stable condition and the bleeding from his wound was taken under control.

Rangers from the Shire of Carnamah have closed the beach since the attack. Authorities are urging people to remain vigilant while in the area.

"Adhere to beach closures advised by local government rangers, Parks and Wildlife Service officers or Surf Life Saving WA," Australia's Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) said as per News.com.au.

"DPIRD is working with local authorities to co-ordinate responses," the department added.

"Use your Sea Sense and stay informed by checking for shark activity on the SharkSmart website, SharkSmart WA app or Surf Life Saving WA's Twitter feed," a spokesperson from the Department of Fisheries told The West Australian.

According to Taronga Conservation Society (TCS), there have been 10 reports of shark attacks in Australia this year. Among these incidents, only one ended up being fatal.

"The majority of people that are bitten are usually bitten once and released. This would indicate that the shark is not biting to procure food in the majority of cases (as commonly thought) but rather they may be investigating an attractive object," TCS said in an article about known dangerous sharks.

TCS further explained that a shark may bite a person after initially mistaking it for prey. However, the attacks are generally called off once the shark realizes that the object's behavior is different or if the taste it gets from the initial bite is different from how its normal prey tastes.

Shark attacks are on the rise all over the world as a greater number of people enter the water. However, the fatality rate remains low, TCS added.

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