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Shark attacked victim ‘three times’



A MAN who was lucky to survive a mauling by a shark at a beach in Western Australia said he was attacked three times.

Alejandro Travaglini was attacked at about 8.30am on Monday at the Cobblestones break close to Gracetown, south of Perth. Just hours later, a second man, Jason Longrass, was also targeted by a shark just 1km away.

Mr Longrass, 41, said one of the shark’s teeth became embedded in his leg during the attack.

He claimed the shark was a “4m great white”. Both men are recovering from their ordeals.

Mr Travaglini, 37, who lives in nearby Margaret River, was taken by the RAC rescue helicopter to the Royal Perth Hospital yesterday morning.

“We were watching the surf and suddenly we heard some screams and saw a guy fighting with something in the water and his board away,” a friend, Lazaro, told Channel 9.

The surfer’s friends said Mr Travaglini punched the shark in an effort to deter the mauling.

“He was punching the shark and like there was three attacks, three different attacks in 20 seconds,” Mikel Basanies said.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic told the ABC the attack echoed pro surfer Mick Fanning’s lucky escape at South Africa’s Jeffreys Bay in 2015.

Fanning survived after a shark lunged at him during a final at the Open World Surf League event.

“If anyone is familiar with the Mick Fanning moment at Jeffreys Bay it was quite similar to that, where a shark pretty much popped up and knocked a surfer off his board.

“The surfer who was being attacked ended up miraculously bodysurfing into a little wave and making it into shore before everyone came to his aid. I can’t say how he is.”



Mr Longrass had a close encounter with a shark later on Monday at about 2.40pm.

Paramedics treated the man from Denmark, near Albany, WA, who said he wasn’t aware the beach was closed due to the earlier attack on Mr Travaglini.

“There’s a tooth that’s buried itself in my leg — luckily removed — and he began to thrash on my board and luckily my leg wasn’t attached to him,” Mr Longrass said.

The World Surf League suspended the Margaret River Pro surfing competition as a result of the suspected shark attack before resuming later in the day.

“We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown,” a spokesman for the organisation wrote on Twitter. “The Margies Pro is on hold while we work with local authorities. The safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority.

“We have mitigation protocols in place and will be enhancing those when competition resumes.”



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