A man was attacked by a bull shark in the Swan River in Perth, on the Point Walter reserve, on the outskirts of Bicton.
The attack occurred around 8 a.m. on Thursday near Blackwall Reach, a limestone cliff bordering the river that is popular with swimmers, paddlers and climbers.
The man, in his 50s, was bitten in the leg by a two to three meter bull shark before being pulled from the water.
He was helped ashore by a kayaker and another person on a stand-up paddle, the Ministry of Primary Industries and Regional Development said.
It is understood that the man received CPR before being taken by ambulance to the Royal Hospital in Perth with what WA police described as serious injuries to his leg.
The total severity of the man’s injuries is not yet known, but he was taken to hospital under “priority 1” conditions, the fastest possible ambulance transport.
Bull sharks are present in the Swan River but are very rarely involved in attacks.
Police urge swimmers to stay out of the water near Point Walter.
Lifeguards thanked for saving the swimmer
WA Premier Mark McGowan said he understood this was “a pretty serious bite”.
“A man in his 50s was swimming in the river,” said McGowan.
“He was bitten in the leg by a bull shark.
“Some kayakers I understand saved the man, and I want to thank them for that and I wish the man all the best [his] recovery.”
Mr. McGowan said it was a “very, very surprising event”.
“We haven’t had a bull shark attack in the river for 50 years. The last time someone was killed by a bull shark in the river was 100 years ago, so it’s unexpected and surprising, ”he said.
The last time a fatal attack was recorded in the Swan River was in 1923, when a 13-year-old boy died from a bite on his thigh.
Very rare ‘bizarre’ river attack, expert says
Shark expert Adrian Gleiss said the serious attack was “a bit of a freak accident”.
“It’s a tragic event, but in fact it’s a very, very unusual event,” he said.
“We haven’t had a shark attack in the river for over 90 years, so I think that statistic in itself shows how rare this is.”
Dr Gleiss said bull sharks tend to live in waters close to humans, so they are more likely to come into contact with people than other sharks.
“All large sharks are a danger to humans and around the world there have been more incidents with bull sharks than other species because they tend to live quite close to the coast,” he said. -he declares.
But he said it was unusual for a bull shark of this size to enter the Swan River and had proven difficult to mark.
He said the Swan and Canning Rivers were nurseries for bull shark puppies, although there were “relatively few” at one point.
These cubs, typically between 80 centimeters and 1.3 meters in length, live in the river and travel regularly between West Swan and Point Walter, where the attack occurred.
“These bigger individuals, we have no idea when they’re coming or anything,” Dr. Gleiss said.
“We think it has to do with calving and that they should spawn at this time of year when the water is really starting to heat up, so from that point of view it really makes sense that it could. be a female who is pregnant or has recently given birth. “