Surfer loses leg in shark attack off west Australia

A 29-year-old surfer was in critical a condition Wednesday after a shark tore a leg off at an Australian west coast beach. Ben Gerring was attacked at Falcon Beach, a popular surfing spot in his hometown of Mandurah, south of Perth city, as he was paddling his board out beyond 20 other surfers on Tuesday afternoon, his friend Brian Williams said. “Next thing all hell broke loose and they were trying to bring him in,” Williams told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “His board was broken in half.”

He had lost a leg from what looked like above the knee, so it was quite a savage attack by the looks of it.

Newspaper reporter Nathan Hondros

Medical staff stabilised Gerring’s condition at Mandurah before he was flown 70 kilometres (45 miles) to the Royal Perth Hospital’s trauma centre. Life guards had tweeted earlier Tuesday that a 3.5-metre (11-foot) white shark had been seen off a nearby beach on Tuesday morning. It was the first serious shark attack in Australia since March, when 22-year-old professional surfer Brett Connellan was badly injured off an east coast beach south of Sydney.