SYDNEY — A 17-year-old girl died from a shark attack in Western Australian while surfing with her father, local media reported Tuesday,BSS reports.
The teenager’s leg was severely mauled by what is believed to be a great white shark Monday afternoon, which was spotted in the area last week. Despite being treated at the scene by emergency services and rushed to a nearby hospital in the township of Esperance, the girl died later Monday evening.
The teenager’s horrified mother and siblings were also on the beach during the incident and witnessed the attack. This is the fourth fatal shark attack on the south coast of Western Australia in three years.
There was also a fifth, non-fatal incident in 2014, when a man in Esperance lost both his hands after being mauled. Shark scientist Colin Simpfendorfer at James Cook University explained to Xinhua that the recent increase in shark attacks are proportional to the rise in the amount of people swimming at Australia’s beaches.
“The attacks are happening at about the same rate, but we have more people in the water now so there is greater risk.” “Unfortunately there is only a limited number of things that governments can do and none of them can fully protect people, there is always going to be an inherent risk.”
Local authorities have warned people to stay away from the area over the coming days. “Our advice to water users is not to undertake surfing, swimming or diving activities in the Wylie Bay area for at least the next 48 hours,” the Western Australian Department of Fisheries told the West Australian Newspaper.