Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb was one of the first back in the water at the Margaret River WSL event in Western Australia after a man was attacked by a shark nearby. "There was a lot more thrashing around".
A man has been airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital with apparent leg injuries after he was bitten by a shark near Gracetown.
He said paramedics on the ground reported that first aid from the man's friends was crucial in the moments after the attack, as they used a leg rope to stem blood flow.
"Surfer and staff safety are top priorities for the World Surf League", a spokeswoman said.
Surf photographer Peter Jovic, who witnessed the attack from the beach, told ABC Radio "a shark pretty much popped up and ended up knocking a surfer off his board".
"After discussing with local authorities, the water safety team and surfers, the WSL commissioner's office has made a decision to resume competition for the Margaret River Pro at Main Break at 10.40am, following a one-hour hold prompted by reports of a shark incident at Gracetown - approximately 15km away from the event site", a spokeswoman said.
"I saw the guy who had been attacked get separated from the board and then start to paddle for an inside wave, which he managed to body surf all the way in", he added.
Several beaches in the Gracetown area were closed in the wake of the attack, including Lefthanders, where the Department of Fisheries reported the presence of a whale carcass.
"We are placing the Margaret River Pro on hold while we work with local authorities on next steps".
According to The West Australian, John John and Nathan Florence encountered two large sharks during a free surf in the days leading up the Margaret River Pro.
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said the attacks emphasised the need to do more, including using SMART drumlines rather than the WA Labor government's subsidised deterrent devices.
Former champion surfer Mick Fanning escaped unscathed when a great white attacked his board as he waited to catch a wave.
"The current policies are simply not adequate".