A family’s Easter holiday turned tragic Monday afternoon when a 17-year-old girl surfing with her father in Western Australia was fatally injured in a shark attack witnessed by family members.
The shark, the species of which was not known, apparently grabbed the girl by the leg as she surfed at a popular surf break known as the Kelp Beds two miles east of Wylie Bay in Esperance, according to news.com.au and the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The girl’s mother and two younger sisters watched in horror from the beach as the shark attack occurred just before 4 p.m. local time, 7 News Perth reported.
The girl was unconscious and her leg badly mauled when taken from the water. Nine News said the girl’s mother alerted emergency services and that a beachgoer performed CPR for 30 minutes until paramedics arrived.
The girl, who had lost a lot of blood, was in critical condition when taken to Esperance Hospital where she later died of her injuries.
Authorities closed Wylie Bay Beach until further notice. The Department of Fisheries was set to patrol the beach Tuesday.
“Our advice to water users is to not undertake surfing, swimming or diving activities in the Wylie Bay area for at least the next 48 hours,” the Department of Fisheries said in a statement.
Since 2010, 10 people are said to have been killed in shark attacks in Western Australia.
In the same area as this latest incident in Wylie Bay, Sean Pollard lost his left arm and right hand in a shark attack in October 2014. It was reported that two great white sharks were involved in that incident.