Tragedy has struck in the waters of Western Australia where a 16-year-old girl was killed in a shark attack while swimming in the Swan River. Police have launched an investigation into the incident, and while it is unclear what type of shark was involved, it is believed to have been a bull shark.
This is a reminder of the importance of shark safety, as even though attacks are incredibly rare, they can still happen. Inspector Paul Robinson from Western Australia Police said that the girl had been swimming with a pod of dolphins when the attack occurred.
Bull sharks are commonly found in most rivers around Australia, and in 2021, a bull shark attacked a local man in his 50s in Swan River. Fortunately, he was pulled from the water by witnesses who tried to stem the bleeding from his leg.
Andrew Chin, a senior research fellow at James Cook University, commented on the tragedy saying, “Bull sharks can be very bold but it is also important to remember that these incidents are very, very rare events – (though) heartbreaking and traumatizing for everyone involved.”
It is important to always be aware of your surroundings when swimming in the ocean or rivers, and to follow swimmer and shark safety advice from local authorities. Being prepared in case of an emergency can help to prevent tragedies like this one from occurring.
Our thoughts are with the family of the victim during this difficult time.