Share story

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A shark tore a 29-year-old surfer’s leg off Tuesday at an Australian west coast beach, officials said.

The man was attacked at Falcon Beach, a popular surfing spot in the town of Mandurah, south of Perth city, emergency services said.

Royal Perth Hospital chief executive Margaret Sturdy said he would be flown 70 kilometers (45 miles) to the hospital’s trauma center once his condition had been stabilized by medical staff in Mandurah.

“He is currently in a serious condition with a serious injury, a significant shark bite and is getting a lot of medical input,” Sturdy said.

Mandurah Mail newspaper reporter Nathan Hondros said he arrived at the beach shortly after the attack and found ambulance crews trying to resuscitate the victim.

“He had lost a leg from what looked like above the knee, so it was quite a savage attack by the looks of it,” Hondros told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

A Falcon Bay Beach Cafe worker told Australian Associated Press that two men rushed in asking for ice, saying someone’s leg had been bitten off.

Life guards had tweeted earlier Tuesday that a 3.5-meter (11-foot) white shark had been seen off a nearby beach on Tuesday morning.

It was the first serious shark attack in Australia since March, when 22-year-old professional surfer Brett Connellan was badly injured off an east coast beach south of Sydney.