Man attacked by shark at Middleton Beach
10th May 2008, 11:00 WST
A 37-year-old Albany man is in a stable condition in Albany Regional Hospital after being attacked by a four metre shark off Middleton Beach this morning.
The shark attacked the swimmer at about 7.30am as he swam around 80m from the shore at Albany's main swimming beach.
He suffered lacerations to his lower leg.
The injured man was rescued by surf live saver and mother-of-one Jo Lucas who heard him screaming for help as she prepared to enter the water.
"I just saw someone thrashing in the water and saying 'Help me, Help me," Mrs Lucas said.
"I thought it was just a dolphin but someone else was screaming: He has been attacked. So I raced down there and got in the water and just before I got to him he said: 'It's got my leg.' I grabbed him and swam back into shore."
Mrs Lucas said there were "great big chunks missing" from the man's leg but he was calm and there was little blood in the water.
She said the man was a regular beach goer and had been swimming with a number of dolphins, which have been visiting the beach over the past few days.
Several other swimmers were in the water at the time of the attack.
Mrs Lucas said the shark had swum towards other swimmers after the attack but they had managed to scare it off by thrashing about in the water and screaming.
Local MLA Peter Watson was walking along Middleton Beach this morning and witnessed the events.
He said at least six other swimmers had been in the water at the time.
Authorities have closed Albany beaches between Emu Point and Ellen Cove near the scene of the frightening attack and no one is being allowed into the water.
Albany Sea Rescue boats are at present shepherding the shark back out to sea.
Albany police Sen-Sgt Roger Creamer said the swimmer was a fair way from the shore when he was attacked by the shark.
“He has sustained some injuries to a leg and was taken to hospital,” Sen-Sgt Creamer said.
Sen-Sgt Creamer said there had been a number of shark sightings this morning.
“The sea rescue guys are trying to push it out of the area," he said
The area where the shark attack happened was a popular spot for early morning swimmers.
“The call we got was that there was someone at the beach who had been injured and when we got there the ambulance was already there taking him away,” Sen-Sgt Creamer said.
Albany Sea Rescue vice president Rob Jackman told thewest.com.au that a crew had been out on a rescue boat since 8.30am trying to escort the large 4m long shark out to sea.
Mr Jackman said the shark was proving difficult to move away from the beach.
“We are trying to shepherd the shark out to sea but at the moment we are having no luck. It just seems to want to swim around in the same spot, it chops and changes he swims out a bit and then he comes in,” Mr Jackman said.
“We are really just providing a bit of noise in the water to try and say go away you don't need to stay here… it's going to be a long long day.”
The shark is estimated to be about 100m to 200m off shore at Middleton Beach.
Mr Jackman said that there had been no other previous sightings of sharks in the area in recent times and it was an unusual time of year to see a shark.
KAREN HODGE and MELODY MONTAGUEhttp://www.thewest.com.au/default.aspx? ... ntID=72374