Italo Ferreira and Gabe Medina have hit Instagram to raise their concerns about surfing in the Margaret River area both the comp and in freesurfs after the two attacks as Australians go back to the shark debate – which basically decides opinion into the ‘cull’ or ‘deal with it’ camps.
“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 you not think?” said Italo
“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 goes beyond that! I hope it does not happen to any of us. I do not feel comfortable training and competing in places like this!”
Gabriel Medina posted his views
“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, anytime anything can happen to one of us. Hope not. Leaving my opinion before it’s too late!”
JJF also had ended a surf session near Gracetown before the event started due to two large sharks.
The WSL meanwhile has stepped up safety measures.
“WSL continues to assess the current situation at the 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. Today’s competition (Tuesday in Western Australia) has already been called off and all surfers have been advised not to surf in the area. We are constantly evaluating the situation, and will update as soon as possible.”
Some of the Aussie press have got a little hysterical claiming the comp should be cancelled, sharks hunted down etc. But many locals are philosophical claiming they surf with the creatures all year, and considering the amount of surfers in the water near seal colonies, and amongst a salmon run the incidents are small and chances of getting caught up with a shark are pretty rare. (Since 2000, there have been 15 fatal and 41 non-fatal sharks.) And the WSL has promised to increase jetski and aerial surveillance with drones…
So the question is what do the WSL do? Remember there are sharks at Snapper, Bells, J Bay, probably Chopes, and Pipe. On the Qual tour parts of the Tuamatos have so many reef sharks you have to take off anything shiny.. Durban.. the list is endless.. And while possibly not in the numbers WA has right now the sharks are still there.
Responses on social media have varied from sympathetic to, well, typical west Aussie advice…
@salemdivision You are the surfers ! If you decide not to surf there’s nothing the wsl can do…they can’t force you. It really is up to you ! @italoferreira
@jarredbriotti😭😭😭 90 % chance of getting eaten? Haha so if you go into the water 10 times a shark will get you 9 times? Stick to surfing mate as your maths is shocking #soft
johnoharePussy! Scared of a little ol’ Shark or scared of the competition? You’re in the surf, you mix it up with our white pointers the most beautiful sharks in the world! 😉✌️
ollyolsonBucket of cement mate
@glenatmargs you have 10 skis, drones and sonar equipment, why be scared during the comp. during the free surfs maybe but we have to deal with this every year. And the white pointers don’t turn up in numbers until June.
@npewhite So as a pro surfer you never considered there to be sharks in the ocean!? Perhaps you need a new career if you don’t like the idea of sharks in the ocean. Oh and for everyone the footage @gabrielmedina is showing is off the idiot, who despite knowing beach was closed and despite fisheries trying to get everyone out of the water decided to still go out and surf.
What do you think?