01/14/2021 - Cameron Wrathall 54 yr - Australia

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alb
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01/14/2021 - Cameron Wrathall 54 yr - Australia

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Swan River shark attack: Blackwall Reach deserted as victim Cameron Wrathall wakes from surgery


Swan River shark attack victim Cameron Wrathall has woken up from surgery while patrols continue at Blackwall Reach, which remains closed to swimmers.
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The 54-year-old father-of-two was swimming in the area with a friend when he was attacked by what is believed to be a bull sharks about 8am yesterday.

Mr Wrathall — the first person to be attacked by a shark in the river for almost 50 years — was this morning recovering from hospital after suffering a 30cm bite to his thigh.

There are reports he is also set to have a second surgery on his leg today.

While Blackwall Reach would normally be bustling with families swimming and having picnics in the school holidays, the area was a ghost town this morning as the Department of Fisheries continue their patrols.

But some seem undeterred, with a handful of kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders continuing to use the river this morning.

Friends Brett Wilson and Chris Samson were seen out on the water this morning and told how they were not fazed by the attack after 20 years of using the river.

“We’ve heard of bull sharks in the river, so the fact that there was one in water yesterday – it was not like it was unheard of or unexpected,” Mr Samson said.

Mr Wrathall’s daughter Keeley says he won’t be deterred from his daily swim after his recovery.

WA Police and DPIRD fisheries officers and vessels cleared the water of swimmers yesterday and spent the day monitoring the river.

The City of Melville closed the beach and erected warning signage in the area from Bicton Baths to Point Walter.

Town of Mosman Park Rangers have closed the beach area at Chidley Point on the opposite side of the river to Blackwall Reach.

“Public safety is our first priority,” A DPIRD spokesman said.

“Boat and land patrols of the area will continue on Friday and possibly Saturday. Bull sharks are attracted to freshwater rivers and estuaries to breed and based on scientific advice a relocation would not improve shark hazard risks.”

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