“I do not feel safe training and competing in this kind of place,” writes Gabby Medina on Instagram after two shark attacks in 24-hours close to the competition site of the WSL's Margaret River Pro.
Yesterday, the WSL halted competition and advised surfers not to get in the water following two shark incidents at Gracetown, some 16kms away. A 37-year-old was attacked at Cobblestones, then in the afternoon, a Danish surfer was also attacked by a 4-metre great white. It's understood that the morning's attack was severe and a surfer from Denmark was treated once he got out of the water with minor injuries.
But taking to social media, both Gabs and Italo expressed a little concern about competing at Margies.
Translating their posts, Medina wrote: “Today they had two shark attacks on a beach close to where we're competing. I do not feel safe training and competing in this kind of place, any time anything can happen to one of us. Hope not. Leaving my opinion before it's too late!”
A sentiment echoed by Italo, who, need you reminding is currently sitting as joint top of the CT (all sic from translation): “Two shark attacks in less than 24 hours here in Australia, detail, just a few miles from where the event is being held. Very dangerous do not you think?
“Even so, they keep insisting on doing steps where the risk of having this type of accident is 90%, so I ask: is not the safety of athletes a priority? We already had several alerts. Life is worth more! I hope it does not happen to any of us. I do not feel comfortable training and competing in places like this!”
Now, we all know sharks are a way of life in WA but it's speculated that a whale carcass floating off the coast near Gracetown is luring the men in grey suits to the area.
— Nathan Brooks (@_nathanbrooks_) April 17, 2018
The WSL say they're monitoring the situation: “The WSL continues to assess the current situation at the men's and women's Margaret River Pro where there have been two confirmed shark incidents near Gracetown in the last 24 hours.
“We have actioned our well established safety protocols and are gathering all the latest information to determine next steps. We will continue to liaise with all involved, most importantly the surfers, their safety remains paramount.”
Cover shot: Victim of the afternoon's shark attack from 9 News Perth