An Australian man suffered horrific injuries when he was attacked by a great white shark off Esperance, losing parts of both his arms and suffering a wound to his leg.
23-year-old Sean Pollard, an avid surfer, lost both of his hands during the attack, with one arm severed at the elbow and the other at the wrist, The Huffington Post notes. After being treated at an Esperance hospital, Pollard was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), and he is in stable condition.
An Australian man suffers severe injuries to his arms and legs from a shark attack. https://t.co/KRoZIGJTbL pic.twitter.com/0cV5Z1RvvF
— [ Australia News ] (@goinaustralia) October 2, 2014
Lisa Clack, the Department of Fisheries shark response unit manager, said that Pollard had been surfing alone, 150 meters from the surf break, when the great white struck. The attack took place about 11:30 a.m. (AWST) on Thursday off Wylie Bay Beach. According to Esperance President Malcolm Heasman, it was unclear whether Pollard, who is from Bunbury, was in the area for vacation or work.
“I know his girlfriend is in Esperance but I’m not sure if she witnessed the event as well,” he said.
The Department of Fisheries deployed a baited drumline after the attack and caught a white shark measuring between three and four meters long an hour later, according to The ABC. Clack related that the Fisheries Department sought permission from the federal government to kill the shark, due to the circumstances of the attack.
“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.”
Though the great white died on the drumline, there is some doubt about whether it is the shark responsible for the attack. According to The ABC, Pollard may have related to authorities that two bronze whaler sharks struck him, not a great white. The great white will be examined tomorrow to confirm whether it is indeed the shark responsible.
— Royal Flying Doctor (@RoyalFlyingDoc) October 2, 2014
— PerthNow (@perthnow) October 2, 2014
Wylie Bay beach, along with Kelpids Beach to the east, has been closed and will likely remain so for the next few days. Over the past few weeks, fisheries officers have been busy investigating multiple shark sightings in the area. According to The West Australian, a great white had been spotted 50m off Wylie Bay, while a pair of white sharks were reported near Kelpids Beach.
As The Inquisitr has previously noted, the Western Australian government recently decided to forgo a three-year shark culling program, citing an uncertain impact on great white sharks.