Swimmer bitten by a shark in Perth’s Swan River

Father-of-two is rushed to hospital after being mauled by a shark so badly he needed CPR while swimming in a popular river

  • Father-of-two Cameron Wrathall, in his 50s, was bitten by a suspected bull shark
  • Mr Wrathall and a friend were on a morning swim when he was bitten by a shark
  • Two kayakers assisted him by covering his wound and taking him back to shore
  • The injured father was taken to hospital and rushed into an operating theatre

A father-of-two has been rushed to hospital after he was badly mauled by a shark while swimming in a river at a popular swimming spot.

Cameron Wrathall was swimming with a friend at Blackwall Reach off Bicton in Perth’s south when he was attacked about 8am on Thursday.

The man aged in his 50s was in the Swan River in Bicton, 10km south-west of the Perth CBD where shark attacks are almost unheard-of.

Mr Wrathall’s injuries from the attack by a suspected bull shark were so severe had to be revived with CPR when brought ashore.

Father-of-two Cameron Wrathall (pictured), in his 50s, was swimming with a friend in the Swan River at Blackwall Reach in Bicton in Perth’s south when he was attacked by a suspected bull shark at 8am on Thursday

The beach at Blackwall Reach, near where Mr Wrathall was attacked. He Mr Wrathall was taken to the shore of a beach across from Blackwall Reach and received CPR before being rushed to hospital for surgery

The beach at Blackwall Reach, near where Mr Wrathall was attacked. He Mr Wrathall was taken to the shore of a beach across from Blackwall Reach and received CPR before being rushed to hospital for surgery

Two kayakers heard Mr Wrathall’s screams and saw blood in the water before going over to assist him at the popular swimming spot.

One of the kayakers took off his T-shirt and wrapped it around the wound before taking Mr Wrathall to shore.

‘There was a fair bit of blood in the water and the bite was quite a significant one, it was right at the top of his thigh, so it was a pretty decent bit,’ one kayaker told Nine News.

Mr Wrathall was taken to a beach across from Blackwall Reach, received CPR and rushed to Royal Perth Hospital via St John Ambulance.

The severity of his injuries is not known yet but he was taken to hospital under ‘priority one’ conditions, which is the fastest ambulance transport possible.

Mr Wrathall was taken into an operating theatre at 9.30am but doctors do not believe his injuries are life-threatening.

He is now in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

The two kayakers who saved Mr Wrathall. The kayaker on the left is demonstrating how big the bite on Mr Wrathall's upper right thigh was

The two kayakers who saved Mr Wrathall. The kayaker on the left is demonstrating how big the bite on Mr Wrathall’s upper right thigh was

Mr Wrathall worked at the Fremantle Water Polo Club and swam in the river almost every day.

Western Australia‘s fisheries department believes a bull shark two to three metres in size was responsible for the attack.

A water police vessel is on the scene and people have been cleared from the water.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the shark attack was a ‘a very, very surprising event’.

‘We haven’t had an attack by a bull shark in the river for 50 years, the last time someone was killed by a bull shark in the river was 100 years ago,’ he said.

‘I will get a full report from Fisheries in the next few days about this event and what can be done about these sorts of issues.’

Western Australia 's fisheries department believes a bull shark two to three metres in size was responsible for the attack (stock image)

Western Australia ‘s fisheries department believes a bull shark two to three metres in size was responsible for the attack (stock image)

A 13-year-old boy died after he was bitten on the thigh by a bull shark while swimming in the Swan River near Mosman Park in 1923.

This is the only recorded fatal bull shark attack in Perth’s Swan River.

Bull sharks are notorious for their aggressive nature, and presence in warm, shallow brackish and freshwater systems including estuaries, canals and rivers.

It are also known as the Zambezi shark in Africa, and ‘Lake Nicaragua shark’ in Nicaragua in South America.

Perth's Swan River. A 13-year-old boy died after he was bitten on the thigh by a bull shark while swimming in the Swan River near Mosman Park in 1923. This is the only recorded fatal bull shark attack in Perth's Swan River

Perth’s Swan River. A 13-year-old boy died after he was bitten on the thigh by a bull shark while swimming in the Swan River near Mosman Park in 1923. This is the only recorded fatal bull shark attack in Perth’s Swan River

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