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Gracetown shark attack: Female swimmer attacked by shark at popular South West beach

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Emily MoultonThe West Australian
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VideoA new poll has found four in 10 West Aussies are too scared to go further than 5m in the water because of the risk of a shark attack

A female swimmer is believed to have been bitten by a shark at popular surfing spot Gracetown, 220km south of Perth.

Emergency services rushed to the scene around 10.30am to assist the woman and the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River has closed Cowaramup Bay beach following the suspected attack.

The woman’s injuries are understood to be minor.

St John Ambulance reported to Surf Life Saving WA that a shark was sighted 50m offshore. And, while the species of shark is yet to be revealed, some locals have speculated a wobbegong may be responsible.

A St John spokeswoman confirmed paramedics had taken a woman to Margaret River Hospital for treatment.

However, they were unable to confirm if she was being treated for a shark bite or any other injuries.

A woman has been taken to Margaret River Hospital with a suspected shark bite.
Camera IconA woman has been taken to Margaret River Hospital with a suspected shark bite. Credit: Ailish Delaney

Locals curious about the police activity told The West they had heard the woman had broken her leg or foot.

Kevin, from the Gracetown Caravan Park, said he rushed down to North Point around 10.30am and when he arrived he saw paramedics treating the woman on the shore.

He said he was told she had been on the rocks and might have tripped, causing her injury.

He also said dozens of surfers remained in the water at the time.

Just after 12pm, Shire of Augusta-Margaret River rangers closed Cowaramup Bay Beach from Huzza's Car Park to Cowaramup Boat Ramp, citing a shark incident.

A spokesman from Fisheries said information they had received was that the woman had been swimming at the time.

Surf Life Saving WA are carrying out aerial patrols of the area. 

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development DPIRD is working with local authorities and has urged people to take additional caution in the area and to adhere to beach closures.

People can check for shark activity on the SharkSmart website, SharkSmart WA app or Surf Life Saving WA’s Twitter feed.

Anyone who sees a shark is urged to report it to water police on 9442 8600.

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