3 Oct 2014

Surfer loses arm in WA shark attack

10:50 am on 3 October 2014

A 23-year-old surfer has lost an arm and his other hand in a shark attack at a beach near Esperance in southern Western Australia.

The attack happened at Wylie Bay Beach yesterday morning, the ABC reported.

Police named the man as Sean Pollard from Bunbury.

A spokesman for St John Ambulance said Mr Pollard lost one of his arms in the attack and that his other hand was also torn off.

He was initially taken to hospital in Esperance and was then transferred to the Royal Perth Hospital, by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), where he remained in a stable condition.

Manager of the shark response unit at the Department of Fisheries, Lisa Clack, said she believed Mr Pollard was surfing alone, about 150 metres from the surf break.

The department said two sharks had been caught near where the attack occurred.

Ms Clack said two baited drum lines were deployed an hour after the attack, and a great white shark between three and 4.5 metres in length was caught about an hour later.

She said the department had sought permission from the Federal Government to kill the shark.

"On the basis that white sharks of this size are known to have bitten humans, often with fatal consequences, the decision has been made to destroy the shark humanely."

A second great white shark was confirmed captured later last night.

The department said that even after examination, it may not be possible to determine whether either shark was involved in the attack on Mr Pollard.

Both sharks are being transported to Perth for research purposes.

The ABC understands Mr Pollard told authorities he was attacked by two bronze whaler sharks.

Ms Clack said beaches in the area had been closed and were likely to remain closed for several days.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs