16-Year-Old Australian Girl Killed In Rare Shark Attack While Trying To Swim With Dolphins
An Australian teen girl has unfortunately died following a rare shark attack.
16-year-old Stella Berry was out jet skiing with her friends on the Swan River in Perth, West Australia Saturday when she was lured into the water by a beautiful site. Police Acting Inspector Paul Robinson told the Associated Press the same day:
“There was possibly a pod of dolphins seen nearby and the young female jumped in the water to swim nearby the dolphins.”
What Stella didn’t know was that jumping in the water to get a closer look at the beautiful creatures would tragically be the last move she’d ever make.
Paramedics were called to the scene just before 4:00 p.m. and pulled the teen from the water. According to local news station, 7 News Australia, she had critical injuries from a shark bites, including massive blood loss. Despite the efforts of paramedics and witnesses, she unfortunately died at the scene. Robinson added:
“The family weren’t there when this took place, however, her friends were and as you can imagine this is an extremely traumatic incident for anyone to witness so obviously we’re offering counseling services to anyone who did witness it or is affected by the incident.”
This incident marks the first fatal shark attack in the area in over 100 years. And while authorities know it was a bull shark, they still haven’t been able to identify the exact species. Robinson explained:
“I’ve spoken to fisheries and water police and unfortunately we have no idea what type of shark it is.”
Andrew Chin, a senior researcher at James Cook University, told CNN back in 2021:
“The Swan River estuary is good bull shark habitat and this means people can come into close contact with them.”
Since her untimely death, it has been revealed that the young girl impressed many with a 2017 design for a shark-free ocean pool that would allow in small fish but keep out larger predators, according to 7 News Australia.
As of now, the teen is being remembered by her school as having, “an impressive sense of conviction about where she was in her life and what she hoped to achieve.” In a Sunday Facebook post, principal Michael Morgan of Shenton College wrote in tribute:
“I would not presume to assert that I understand the pain and anguish that is being felt by the Berry family and Stella’s friends at this difficult time. I do hope, however, that as Principal of Shenton College, I have the responsibility and right to respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the life of Stella Berry — Shenton student, Year 11.”
“She wanted to run a marathon; she saw herself completing school and going to explore life overseas. In her short time here at Shenton College, Stella has given embodiment to her name — for Stella, like her name, was a star. She radiated light into the lives of others and had a lasting positive impact on everyone she touched. Stella illuminated classrooms and friendships with laughter and a smile. It speaks volumes of who she was, that in the relatively brief period of time that she has been part of our direct school community, her light has shone on so many people.”
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Stella’s parents, Matt and Sophie Berry, released a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald following her death:
“We are devastated and deeply shocked by the loss of our beautiful daughter who was a vibrant and happy girl with plans of living in Europe after school. She was a caring person and was a dear friend to many, across a variety of schools in the area. She had an infectious laugh which we couldn’t help laughing at too when we heard it.”
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Our hearts are with the Berry family, and Stella’s friends, who unfortunately had to witness the tragedy. Rest in peace.
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