News State Western Australia News Surfer survives after shark takes ‘chunks’ out of leg

Surfer survives after shark takes ‘chunks’ out of leg

The number of sharks off Australia's shores has increased, experts say. Photo: Getty
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A beach in Western Australia remains closed after a shark mauled a surfer, who is now recovering in hospital having had “a few chunks taken out of his leg”.

Bunker Bay beach near Dunsborough in the state’s southwest was shut on Saturday after the attack on Friday.

“Drone surveillance on Friday afternoon confirmed the presence of schooling salmon and a seal colony in the vicinity of the area,” the WA government said in a statement on Saturday.

“These environmental conditions may increase the likelihood of encountering a shark in the area.”

Phil Mummert, aged in his 20s, suffered leg injuries in the attack and photos showed his surfboard with huge bite marks.

The government said a four-metre white shark is believed to be responsible.

Mish Wright on Saturday posted a Facebook update about her boyfriend’s condition.

“After an unimaginable and gruelling night I’m happy to let you all know that Phil’s surgery went really well and he’s now recovering,” she wrote.

“We’ve been flooded with lots of lovely messages and I’ve been reading them all to Phil.”

Ms Wright was on the beach when Mr Mummert “got a few chunks taken out of his leg” on Friday.

She thanked those who went to Mr Mummert’s aid, including fellow surfers who helped him from the water.

“I honestly don’t know how a person can see a total stranger getting attacked by a 4m great white shark and swim TOWARDS to save him so we are beyond grateful to everyone that helped save Phil’s life.”

Phil Mummert is recovering from the attack. Photo: Facebook/Mish Wright

There have been five fatal shark attacks in Australian waters in 2020.

One of them was in WA in January, when experienced diver Gary Johnson, 57, was taken near Cull Island, close to West Beach in Esperance.

A fortnight ago, a 10-year-old boy suffered shock and cuts when a shark ripped him from a fishing boat about five kilometres offshore from Stanley in northwest Tasmania.

-AAP