Shark Kills Teen Surfing With Family Off Western Australia's Coast

A medium-sized great white had been spotted in the area twice in the past week.
The teen was surfing near the town of Esperance, in Western Australia, when she was attacked, authorities said.
James D. Morgan via Getty Images
The teen was surfing near the town of Esperance, in Western Australia, when she was attacked, authorities said.

A 17-year-old girl died Monday after she was attacked by a shark while surfing off the coast of Western Australia.

The girl, whose identity has not been made public, was with her parents and two sisters in the popular surfing area of Wylie Bay, near the town of Esperance. The shark bit her on the leg around 4 p.m., Australia’s 7 News reports.

She was rushed in critical condition to a hospital, where she died. Authorities have not said what kind of shark may be responsible.

Esperance police expressed their condolences to the girl’s family and friends on Twitter.

According to Shark Smart WA, a shark-tracking site maintained by the Australian government, a medium-sized great white shark had been spotted in the area twice in the past week. Wylie Bay has been closed until further notice, the website says.

Since 1580, only one country ― the United States ― has seen more confirmed instances of unprovoked shark attacks than Australia, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.

Last year there were four fatal shark attacks worldwide, two of which occurred in Western Australia, according to the university’s records. The other two fatalities were in the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia.

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