Local News

Teenage girl dies after shark attack in Western Australia

The teenager’s mother and two sisters reportedly watched in horror as the attack unfolded.

A 17-year-old girl has died after being attacked by a shark in Western Australia.

Laeticia Brouwer was surfing with her father when she was grabbed by the shark at Kelp Beds, a popular spot for surfers near Wylie Bay in Esperance, just before 4pm on Monday.

The teenager’s mother and two younger sisters are believed to have watched the attack helplessly from the beach during the family’s Easter holiday.

The teen, who was from a town near Perth, was treated at the scene by paramedics before she was taken to Esperance hospital in a critical condition.

It’s understood the teenagers leg was badly mauled and she had also lost a considerable amount of blood when pulled from the water, Seven News reported, and she died in hospital.

“We are terribly heartbroken and saddened by this tragic accident,” a family spokesperson said.

“We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved – the ocean was her and her family’s passion.

“Surfing was something that she treasured doing with her dad and sisters.”

Kelp Beds is the same surf break in which Sean Pollard lost his left arm and right hand when he was viciously attacked by two sharks in 2014.

Sharksmart, a website which tracks shark activity in Western Australia, reported two shark sightings for the area around Esperance in the days preceding the attack, according to The West Australian.

Local authorities have closed Wylie Bay beach until further notice and surfers have been advised to avoid the area for the next 48 hours.

“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,” Department of Fisheries said.

Two people were killed by sharks in Western Australia last year.

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