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River closed to swimmers after shark sightings

The Swan River was shut to swimmers on Friday, just metres from the spot where Cameron Wrathall was mauled by a bull shark in January.

Two sightings of a 3m bull shark near Port Walter, at 11.30am and 1pm, forced a stretch of the river shut. The shark was just 30m offshore.

It was a 3m bull shark which attacked Mr Wrathall as he swam near Blackwall Reach on January 14.

Camera IconA sign alerting swimmers to the shark sightings at the Swam River today. Credit: Supplied/Nine News

It attacked him with such force it broke his hip and severed his sciatic nerve.

His heart stopped on the ambulance.

“The shark hit me really hard, it’s the biggest impact I’ve ever felt of something hitting me,” Mr Wrathall told 7News from his hospital bed.

“It was then trying to shake from side to side to tear part of me away. It all happened very quickly. I just did a kick on to part of it and a thrust down on my hands to push it off me and hit it pretty hard with the palms of my hands, and it went.”

Cameron Wrathall.
Camera IconCameron Wrathall. Credit: Unknown/Facebook

Mr Wrathall said the only reason he had started swimming in the river was to avoid sharks, admitting he used to swim in the ocean off Cottesloe.

“I stopped doing it because there seemed to be quite a few shark incidents and I thought the river would be much safer,” he said.

It could be up to two years before Mr Wrathall is able to walk normally again but he said he was simply thankful to be alive.

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