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Surfer Jon Hines attacked by shark in Western Australia


Australian surfer Glen Folkard displays his massive scar and damaged surf board at his home in Newcastle on February 23, 2012 after he was attacked by a shark.



An Australian man, Jon Hines, is recovering after being attacked by a shark off Western Australia, the latest in a string of severe shark attacks in WA — several of them fatal.

The Associated Press cited a Department of Fisheries spokesman Michael Burgess as saying Hines was attacked Tuesday afternoon while surfing off Red Bluff beach 90 miles north of Carnarvon and 600 miles north of Perth.

Hines, 34, suffered bites to his abdomen and arm while fighting off the shark, but had been pulled from the water by a fellow surfer conscious.

He was wrapped in towels and driven almost two hours down unsealed roads to a waiting ambulance, according to Jim Caldwell, the local campground manager.

"We were keeping him talking, that was the main thing, to keep him coherent," Caldwell told The West Australian newspaper, describing the victim as "tough as nails."

"It was all about keeping the pressure on, the blood loss was our biggest concern."

The Royal Flying Doctor Service then airlifted the man to Perth Royal Hospital.

Red Bluff beach — a "world-renowned" surfing spot heavily frequented by tourists, Carnarvon Shire chief executive Maurice Battilana told ABC Radio — was closed for 24 hours after the attack. cited WA surfing instructor Josh Palmateer, 42, as saying his friends who saw the attack had described it as "brutal."

"There was a big swell ... plenty of my mates were around there, they said it was pretty brutal,'' he said.

"A couple of them helped drag him in ... they heard him screaming for help and they thought he just hurt himself badly in a wipe-out.

"From what I hear he had to fight it off and it came back and had another go and that’s when it got him on the arm.

"He’s a lucky boy."

In the most recent attack six weeks ago, 24-year-old surfer Ben Linden was killed by a 16-foot great white shark about 100 miles north of Perth.

That was the fifth fatal attack in WA waters in less than 12 months and renewed debate about whether great whites should remain protected.

Western Australia Fisheries spokesman Tony Cappelluti told ABC radio it was "very difficult to speculate" what kind of shark it was in the latest attack, with tiger sharks "fairly prevalent" in the area but great whites also present.

The other fatal attacks, according to WAToday, were as follows:

March 2012: Peter Kurmann, 33, killed while diving off Stratham Beach, near Busselton, about 125 miles south-west of Perth;

October 2011: Bryn Martin, 64, believed taken by a shark while swimming at Cottesloe beach near Perth;

October 2011: American George Wainwright, 32, mauled to death while diving about 500 yards off Rottnest Island; and

September 2011: Kyle Burden, 21, killed while bodyboarding at Bunker Bay, about 180 miles south-west of Perth.

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