Shark Attack Suspends Australian Pro Surfing Competition

Professional sports are always a little dangerous—playing hard always come with a chance of physical injury, like how football stars risk concussions and hockey players lose their teeth. But professional surfers face a particular risk that no one else has to deal with: shark attacks. That’s right, a surfing competition in Australia was put on hold after a shark attacked one of the competitors on Monday morning.

According to reports, a surfer was separated from his board and bitten on the leg by an inquisitive shark. He managed to body surf back to shore and was taken to Royal Perth Hospital, where he is said to be in stable condition. (Give the man a medal!)

The event in question, the World Surf League Margaret River Pro 2018, was suspended while the incident was investigated. Local authorities reassured surfers and attendees that the event would continue. Additional water skis and drones were used to spot and deter any potential sharks.

While shark attacks are incredibly rare, this is a crazy reminder that pro surfing is one the few sports with a legitimate risk of random predators showing up to eat the participants. It would be as if we still had track and field meets where wolves would show up to drag runners into the bushes. We’re glad no one was seriously hurt and hope that the surfer recovers fully.