Shark attacks lead organisers to pull surf competition

Shark attacks lead organisers to pull surf competition

Shark attacks have led to the remainder of a World Surf League (WSL) competition in Western Australia to be abandoned.

Two separate incidents less than four miles away from the Margaret River Pro event near Perth, combined with the presence of beached whales, led organisers to call off the event on Wednesday.

WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow said the "exceptional circumstances" involving "really aggressive shark behaviour in the area" had informed the decision.

"The safety of our surfers is paramount and we've seen two fairly unique circumstances occur in the past few days," he said.

We've had two attacks to the north of us and really aggressive shark behaviour in the area, and to the south we've had beached whales and those have been there quite a few weeks leading up to the event.

"And then in the north another whale had beached and so all of those circumstances combined have created a situation that elevated the risk to us and taken it beyond what we are comfortable with."

Mr Perrow said he understood that the cancellation of the event would be a disappointment to local supporters, although the decision had been made in conjunction with competitors.

Two male surfers were reportedly left with leg injuries after they were bitten near Gracetown on Monday, forcing the competition at Main Break to be suspended.

Great Whites, bull sharks and tiger sharks are among the species to call waters around Western Australia home and are considered to pose the most serious threat to humans.

Angus Scotney, Arran Strong, Ellie Turner, Emily Currie, Hannah Bristow, Lucy Campbell competed in the WSL qualifying series for the United Kingdom, although did not progress to the WSL Championship Tour.

The Margaret River Pro is the third event on the tour.

WSL chief executive Sophie Goldschmidt said: "Surfing is a sport that carries various forms of risk, and is unique in that wild animals inhabit our performance environment. Sharks are an occasional reality of WSL competitions, and of surfing in general."

- Press Association

More on this topic

Man charged with attempted murder after car hit pedestrians in MelbourneMan charged with attempted murder after car hit pedestrians in Melbourne

Police 'talking to mother' after eight children found dead in Cairns housePolice 'talking to mother' after eight children found dead in Cairns house

Eight children found stabbed to death in Australia; mother in hospitalEight children found stabbed to death in Australia; mother in hospital

More in this Section

'It was my fault' - Ireland captain blames himself for Denmark's crucial goal'It was my fault' - Ireland captain blames himself for Denmark's crucial goal

'It is sickening' - Ireland rue lack of firepower as Danes progress to Euro 2020'It is sickening' - Ireland rue lack of firepower as Danes progress to Euro 2020

Mick McCarthy: We can qualify for Euros with repeat of Danish displayMick McCarthy: We can qualify for Euros with repeat of Danish display

Hope is nothing but a tease. And a survivorHope is nothing but a tease. And a survivor


Lifestyle

The ribbed fabric is having a fashion moment, says Katie Wright.Get on board with cord: 5 of the best pinafore dresses and how to style them

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a woman whose future mother-in-law isn’t happy with her decision not to have kids.Ask a counsellor: ‘Why can’t my fiancé’s mother accept that I don’t want children?’

Vincent Thurkettle, author of The Wood Fire Handbook, talks to Luke Rix-Standing about one of our best-loved simple pleasures – the log fire.Burning love: Why are roaring wood fires so endlessly appealing?

Students have nothing to be anxious about with their CAO 2020, just follow this easy video guide with Trish McGrath, Principal of Hewitt CollegeTen tips to completing CAO 2020 applications online, plus a short video guide for students

More From The Irish Examiner