A surf ski paddler has been attacked by a shark off Perth, with reports of another great white shark incident south of the city, according to Fisheries officers.
No-one was injured when a shark reportedly went through the middle of a group of surf skiers off Perth's northern Mullalloo Beach at about 7.15am on Wednesday, but one of the skis was bitten, according to the West Australian Fisheries Department.
The group was from the Mullalloo Surf Life Saving Club, and the beach has been closed until further notice.
In the second incident just south of the city, a fisherman reported a great white shark had attacked a crab pot off Saxon Reef in Warnbro Sound at 8am.
The man on the surf ski was reportedly in his 50s and was attacked about 150m offshore.
He was able to swim to a neighbouring surf ski, which paddled him back to shore.
The shark was about 3m in length and "hit with great force, sending him flying into the air", according to Paul Andrew from Surf Lifesaving WA, who spoke to ABC radio.
WA Fisheries Shark Response Unit manager Michael Burgess told AAP the shark was likely to have been a great white.
"It appears the shark was coming from behind and has taken a bite at the end of the ski," he said.
"Certainly the force has thrown him out of the ski.
"There is documented evidence of great whites attacking small craft."
Mr Burgess said the two attacks, more than 50km apart, were likely to have been by different sharks, adding there was "some type of shark activity occurring along the Perth coast" at present.
"Obviously the whales are on their migratory pattern at the moment . . . and there's a lull between two storms," Mr Burgess said.
"When we do have large sharks close to shore, it's some kind of ecological event that's drawing them there."
A Fisheries vessel was currently patrolling Mullaloo beach and had retrieved the bitten surf ski, Mr Burgess said.
|Otago Times article|
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