Twenty-nine-year-old Mandurah surfer Ben Gerring was attacked by a shark yesterday afternoon at Gearies, a popular local break off the suburb of Falcon. According to reports, the local surfer and fly-in fly-out heavy machinery operator was waiting for a wave at around 4pm when the shark struck, severing his leg above the knee. He was taken to the beach by fellow surfers, where an ambulance was called and CPR commenced.
Ian Barker was one of the surfers that helped transport Ben to the beach and gave the following description to reporters: ‘I paddled out to them, they needed a hand and that’s when I saw this fellow, he was very pale, they had him propped up on a surfboard paddling in, there was about 100m to go so we got him all the way ashore and then applied CPR.’
President of the Mandurah Boardriders, Brian Williams, was also on hand when the attack occurred and helped stretcher Ben to the ambulance.
‘It’s pretty harrowing seeing somebody you know lying there motionless, hoping that everything’s going to be OK,’ he told the ABC. ‘He grew up as a Mandurah board rider, he’s been here all his life. I’ve known him, and he’s well known, he’s a very good surfer.’
Ben was rushed from the beach to local Mandurah hospital the Peel Health Campus, where medical teams worked to stabilise him before he was transported by helicopter to the Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) with his mother.
He remains in a critical condition.
Falcon Bay Beach was closed by local council following the attack. It is unknown at this stage what species of shark was responsible, but a 3.5m Great White was spotted offshore at Pyramids Beach, four kilometres south of Gearies, earlier in the day. However, no correlation between the two incidents has been confirmed.
According to local paper the Mandurah Mail, no fatal shark attacks have ever occurred in the Mandurah area.
Tracks sends our best wishes to Ben and his family.