Stella Berry, a 16-year-old girl killed by a shark while swimming in a river in Western Australia (WA), has been identified.
On Saturday, the schoolgirl was pronounced dead after being pulled from the Swan River in Perth.
Stella and her friends were riding jet skis when she jumped into the water to swim with dolphins and was attacked, according to police.
Her parents said they were “devastated and deeply shocked” in a statement.
Matt and Sophie Berry described their daughter as a “vibrant and happy girl” who enjoyed art and water.
“She was a caring individual and a dear friend to many… a beautiful and loving big sister and the best daughter we could have wished for.”
Stella was described as the “sweetest and smartest girl I knew” by one of her friends, Lara Connolly, to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“She was so sweet,” Lara remarked.
Authorities are investigating the type of shark involved, but the Western Australian Fisheries Minister has stated that it was “likely” a bull shark.
According to Don Punch, the government will consider what can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“We’re always willing to talk to local governments about shark barriers.”
Sharks in that part of the Swan River are unusual, according to fisheries experts, and this is the river’s first fatal attack in 100 years.
In the past, dying from a shark bite was uncommon. Australia’s shark attack mortality rate is 0.9 in over a century of records, or less than one person per year.
In 2021, there were two fatal shark attacks, and seven in 2020.