A 23-year-old Bunbury man has lost both arms in a shark attack while surfing with his girlfriend in waters off Western Australia’s Goldfields-Esperance region.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service confirmed the man lost both arms in the attack at the unpatrolled Wylie Bay beach, east of Esperance, about 11am on Thursday.
The man was first taken to the local hospital and is being flown to Perth for further treatment.Esperance shire president Malcolm Heasman said the man was from Bunbury and had been surfing with his girlfriend when he was attacked.
“I don’t know if he was a holidaymaker or if he has been living in Esperance for some time,” he said.
Heasman said the man’s family had been notified of the attack and authorities were trying to retrieve his surfboard.
Meanwhile, Department of Fisheries officers have deployed equipment in a bid to catch the shark, whose species is unknown.
Wylie Bay Beach, accessible only by four-wheel drive, is a popular spot for surfing and fishing.
It has been closed, along with Kelpids beach to the east.
The department says beaches are likely to remain closed for the next few days and urges local people and holidaymakers to stay out of the water.
Particularly large sharks are known to inhabit Esperance waters.
In October last year, abalone diver Greg Pickering was attacked by a great white – suffering severe facial injuries and almost losing an eye – at Cape Arid national park, about two hours drive from Esperance.
Fisheries officers were unable to find the shark that attacked Pickering.