10/02/2014 04:23 am ET Updated Oct 02, 2014

Shark Attacks Surfer In Australia, Biting Off Parts Of Both Arms

A shark attacked a surfer in Australia on Thursday, ripping off parts of both arms and damaging one of the man's legs, according to media reports.

The 23-year-old surfer, who has not been named, lost one arm from the elbow down and the other at the wrist in the attack, which was witnessed by his girlfriend, 7 News reported.

The surfer sustained “quite severe trauma consistent with a shark attack," a spokesman for St. John Ambulance told The Australian newspaper.

The incident happened at about 11 a.m. local time at Wylie Bay near Esperance, on the southern coast of Western Australia.

Local officials say there has been increased shark activity in the area in recent weeks.

“I got a phone call from someone a fortnight ago... that there had been some increased shark activity," Esperance Shire President Malcolm Heasman told The Australian newspaper. “There has been something ongoing there for a while, we don’t know what it is.”

Officials say the beach will remain closed for the time being, and signs have been posted to keep people away.

Several hours after the attack, the shark believed responsible was caught.



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