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Shark attack in Perth's Swan River leaves man seriously injured

The Guardian - Thu Jan 14 03:30

A man has been seriously injured after being bitten on the leg by a two to three-metre bull shark while swimming in Perth’s Swan River.

The man in his 50s was attacked at around 8am on Thursday morning at Blackwall Reach, a popular swimming area south of Perth known for its limestone cliffs.

He was rushed to Royal Perth hospital by St John Ambulance with serious injuries to his leg.

Western Australia’s fisheries department is investigating the rare attack.

A water police vessel was deployed to clear people from the water, and paramedics arrived at the scene at 8.05am and treated the man, including with CPR.

He was transported to the Royal Perth hospital at 8.49am as “priority one”, meaning he was in a serious condition.

The state’s premier, Mark McGowan, praised the efforts of kayakers to rescue the man.

“I understand it’s quite a serious bite but we all hope and wish for the very best for the man involved and hope he recovers fully,” he told reporters.

“We haven’t had an attack by a bull shark in the river for 50 years. The last time someone was killed by a bull shark in the river was 100 years ago. So this is unexpected and surprising.”

WA authorities have warned people in the area to take care, adhere to beach closures and report any shark sightings to the water police on 08 9442 8600.

Elsewhere, in the Esperance shire, Surf Life Saving WA warned swimmers that a whale carcass off the coast of Duke of Orleans Bay could also attract sharks.

Fisheries advise whale carcass sighted 09:32hrs 14/01, Taylor Boat Harbour, east of Duke of Orleans Bay , 1 mile east of Alexander Point.

— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) January 14, 2021

DPIRD (Fisheries) advise additional caution in waters near Taylor Boat Harbour in the Shire of Esperance as the whale carcass may attract sharks. See more: https://t.co/5TZ3YfYBOg

— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) January 14, 2021

According to the Australian Shark Attack File, compiled by Taronga Zoo, there were eight reported fatal shark attacks in Australia in 2020.