Major pro surfing competition canceled after shark attacks in Western Australia

Major pro surfing competition canceled after shark attacks in Western Australia

Outdoors

Major pro surfing competition canceled after shark attacks in Western Australia

A major surfing competition in Western Australia has been canceled in the wake of two shark attacks Monday at nearby locations – involving surfers who were not part of the competition.

The World Surf League announced Tuesday that it had canceled the Margaret River Pro, a highly rated competition involving male and female athletes, after two rounds.

Margaret River Pro will not continue because of shark attacks and shark activity. Photo: WSL/Matt Dunbar

Stab Magazine published the following statement by WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt:

“If we decided to continue the event under the current circumstances, and something terrible were to take place, we would never forgive ourselves.”

The WSL added, in a news release posted on its website: “The presence of beached whales in the area has attracted sharks and contributed to the aggression of their behavior, which, experts agree, has increased the possibility of further attacks.”

ABC News published a story mentioning several beach closures and showing an image of a whale carcass in the tidal zone, close to where the second attack occurred.

Kael Walsh performs at the Margaret River Pro before Monday’s shark attacks. Photo: WSL/Matt Dunbar

Great white sharks – possibly the same shark – are implicated in both attacks, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The incidents occurred about a mile from each other near Gracetown, less than five miles from the primary competition venue.

One surfer received serious leg injuries, while the other received less severe bite wounds. The first victim remains hospitalized in stable condition at Royal Perth Hospital.

Margaret River Pro surfers will receive points based on their performance before the event was canceled.

–Images are courtesy of the WSL

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