Shark attacks surfer in Western Australia

A second surfer has been attacked by a shark in Gracetown just hours after a man was airlifted to Perth for emergency surgery.

Local ambulance spokesman Dennis Bertoldo said the man, aged in his 30s, was surfing near Gracetown when he was attacked at around 8am local time on Monday.

The hospital where the victim was taken says the man's condition is stable.

Surf photographer Peter Jovic was on the beach and witnessed the surfer being mauled by the shark, ABC News reported.

Australia's two-time world champion Tyler Wright and Kiwi Paige Hareb were the first surfers to hit the water for their round-two heat after the shark scare.

"A shark popped up and pretty much ended up knocking a surfer from his board", he said. "There was a lot more thrashing around".

"We have been alerted of a shark incident that occurred near Gracetown", the WSL said in a tweet. Credit: ABC Breakfast radio.

Mr Jovic said everyone was "walking around like stunned mullets" after the attack. "I can't say how he is".

"We could see its fin, and then when it attacked the man we could see its tail splashing and saw it launch up out of the water at him".

Jovic said he saw the man catch a wave "which he managed to body-surf all the way in".

The Westpac helicopter also spotted a whale carcass on the beach, south of Lefthanders surf break about 9.30am.

The attack forced an worldwide surfing competition nearby, the World Surf League's (WSL) Margaret River Pro 2018, to be put on hold.

Surfers had been in action this morning in the competition before the attack.

The contest was initially put on hold with organisers saying the "safety of our surfers and staff is a top priority".

He said the incident emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines, rather than the Labor government's subsidised shark deterrent devices.

A member of the public reported an unknown species of shark off Cobblestones just moments after the attack, and the Surf Life Saving Westpac helicopter reported a four-metre shark just after 10am near the Lefthanders surf spot.

"The current policies are simply not adequate".

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