SYDNEY: A surfer was bitten on the leg by a shark off a beach on Australia’s west coast Sunday, authorities said, the latest in a spate of recent attacks that saw another man killed.
The surfer, aged in his 20s, was on his board at Pyramids Beach south of Perth in Western Australia on Sunday morning when the attack happened, a fisheries official told AFP.
A witness told news website WA Today the man was with another surfer in the water when a large school of salmon swam past them and the shark alarm went off.
“He had been attacked on the lower part of the leg, with a couple of meaty bites,” said Damian Baker, who was watching from the shore.
The young man pulled himself onto a rock after he was bitten, surf lifesavers said. He was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
State officials confirmed the attack by an “unknown species of shark” in a statement.
Beaches in the area were closed and water police were patrolling the waters, the state fisheries department said.
The attack is the fifth encounter off Australia’s beaches in two months.
A swimmer died last Monday after being mauled by a shark in the Whitsunday islands off Queensland state — the third encounter in the tourist site since September.
On Wednesday, a surfer fought off a shark with his board after being bitten on the leg at Shelly Beach –another popular tourist site — in New South Wales state.
Experts say attacks are increasing as water sports become more popular and fish eaten by sharks move closer to shore. Fatalities, however, remain rare.