A rescue helicopter arriving to transport a critically injured surfer after a shark ripped off his leg in an attack at Falcon Beach, a suburb of Perth, Australia on May 31, 2016.
Marta Pascual Juanola—AFP/Getty Images
June 1, 2016 9:00 AM EDT

An Australian surfer lost his leg in a shark attack this week, according to officials.

Ben Gerring, 29, was attacked Tuesday afternoon at Falcon Beach, just south of Perth, according to the Associated Press. Gerring’s friend Brian Williams told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the attack occurred when Gerring paddled out beyond some 20 other surfers.

“Next thing all hell broke loose and they were trying to bring him in,” Williams said. “His board was broken in half.”

The surfer, who was bitten above his knee, was stabilized on site, according to reports cited by AP, and was flown to Royal Perth Hospital’s trauma center some 45 miles away, where he is listed in critical condition.

Lifeguards had tweeted earlier Tuesday that they had spotted an 11-ft. white shark along the beach. This was the first serious shark attack in Australia since March.

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