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World Surf League event abandoned due to shark attack

The event held at Western Australian saw surfers scurrying for their lives.

News 09 Apr 2016, 11:25 IST
Mick Fanning
USA's Kelly Slater competes in the 2015 Billabong Pro Tahiti.

Pro surfers have been forced out of the water at a World Surf League (WSL) event in Western Australia after a shark came within meters of launching an attack on the unsuspecting group.

The final warm-up session of the Margaret River Pro was called off on Thursday evening due to the surfers' sudden brush with death, said Xinhua news agency.

It comes after Australia's three-time world surfing champion, Mick Fanning, survived a terrifying attack from a suspected great white shark while competing at South Africa's J-Bay Open last year.

Western Australia is a notorious hotspot for shark attacks, with 14 fatalities recorded on the state's beaches since 2000.

The shark had actually been circling the area for almost 30 minutes before being spotted.

"We were all waiting to get one more wave, and everyone was talking to each other with their backs to the ocean," Caio Ibelli told surfline.com on Friday.

"When I turned back, I saw the biggest shark not very far from us. When I called it out, everyone started paddling in super fast.

"We all caught the same wave ... everyone was pretty scared."

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