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Australian surfer loses leg in shark attack horror

Published 01/06/2016

A shark had been seen in the area earlier in the day
A shark had been seen in the area earlier in the day

A surfer is in a critical condition after his leg was bitten off by a shark in a horrific attack at an Australian west coast beach.

Ben Gerring, 29, was attacked at Falcon Beach, a popular surfing spot in his home town of Mandurah, south of Perth, as he was paddling his board 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," Mr Williams told Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "His board was broken in half."

Two surfers with longboards paddled out to bring him in, Mr Williams said.

Mandurah Mail newspaper reporter Nathan Hondros, who arrived at the beach shortly after the attack, found ambulance crews trying to resuscitate Mr Gerring.

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

Medical staff stabilised Mr Gerring's condition at Mandurah before he was flown 45 miles to the Royal Perth Hospital's trauma centre, where t he hospital said his condition was critical.

Lifeguards tweeted earlier on Tuesday that a 11ft 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.

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