Saturday 22 July 2017

'They gave us that time to say our goodbyes' - Family of surfer whose leg was bitten off by shark thanked 'heroes' who brought him ashore

Surfer Ben Gerring died three days after the attack
Surfer Ben Gerring died three days after the attack

A surfer whose leg was bitten off by a shark in western Australia has died from his injuries.

The brother of 29-year-old Ben Gerring thanked the "heroes" who brought him to shore after the attack and the staff at Royal Perth Hospital, where he died on Friday night.

Rick Gerring said the hospital's care had given the family three days with Ben.

"Obviously we were always hoping for the best outcome, it was always at the back of our minds that this could happen, but they gave us that time to say our goodbyes," he told ABC News.

Read more: Surfer in critical condition after 'great white shark' bite off one of his legs

Mr Gerring was attacked on Tuesday afternoon while paddling his surfboard at Falcon Beach in his home town of Mandurah, south of Perth.

Fellow surfers paddled to him to bring him to shore, witnesses said.

An inspection of his damaged surfboard showed a white shark was responsible. The Fisheries Department trapped and killed a large shark on Wednesday afternoon but did not know if it was the same shark that attacked Mr Gerring.

Area beaches have reopened, but the department warned people to be extra cautious in the water.

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