(CNN)A shark attack on a surfer in Australia has forced the temporary suspension of an international surfing competition.
Shark attack halts Australia surf competition
The victim, Alejandro Travaglini, 37, was bitten on the leg by a shark off Gracetown in Western Australia on Monday morning.
He managed to paddle back to shore and a rescue helicopter ferried him to hospital.
Surf photographer Peter Jovic told ABC news he had witnessed the attack.
"[I] saw the guy who had been attacked get separated from the [surf] board and then start to paddle for an inside wave, which he managed to body surf all the way in," he said.
"They got him to shore and started working on him to stem the bleeding."
"This thing was a big shark and it wanted to eat him," fellow surfer and witness Adam Kennedy told the Seven Network. "He was literally fighting for his life. He was yelling and punching and he was on the back of this thing.
Travaglini was reported to be in a stable condition. In a statement released from his hospital bed, he said: "I just want to thank all the legends who helped me at the beach."