A 17-year-old girl died on Monday following being attacked by a shark while surfing with her father off the southern coast of Western Australia. Her mother and two younger sisters witnessed the horrific event from the beach.
A spokesman at the Esperance police told The Australian that Laeticia Brouwer and her father, both experienced surfers, were “not a long way off-shore” when the attack by an unidentified type of shark occurred.
Brouwer’s father was able to bring her out of the water, where family members and a nurse who was at the beach performed first aid and applied a tourniquet to prevent blood loss.
According to local reports, the shark may have torn her leg off in the attack.
“They really gave the young girl every possible chance under such dire circumstances for a positive outcome,” paramedic Paul Gaughan said, according to the outet. “Unfortunately, in this case the injuries were just too severe.”
According to Perth Now, the teen did not regain consciousness and died at Esperance Hospital following the attack.
The Australian reports Brouwer was the third shark attack fatality in Western Australia in less than a year.
Steve Evans, the victim’s uncle, fought back tears as he read a statement on behalf of the family on Monday.
“We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved,” he said. “The ocean was her and her family passion. Surfing was something she treasured doing with her dad and her sisters.”
The family from Singleton, south of Perth, had been on vacation at Kelp Beds Beach for the Easter weekend.
Evans thanks police, first responders and bystanders at the scene who worked to save Brouwer.
“Laeticia will be greatly missed by her family, friends and everyone that knew her,” he said. “We can take comfort that she is now in Heaven with the Lord in eternal peace.”
Fisheries minister Dave Kelly told WA Today that despite the tragedy, the government would not be deploying drum lines in an attempt to catch the shark.
“There’s fisheries vessels doing patrols, there’s also staff patrolling the beaches and the beach will remain closed until fisheries and the local authorities review that it’s safe to open,” he said. “There haven’t been drum lines deployed this morning. We made it clear in opposition that we don’t see the merit in automatically deploying drum lines because they don’t actually make our beaches any safer.”