Pictured: Girl, 16, mauled to death by shark while jet skiing in Australia
A teenage girl who died following a shark attack in Australia has been pictured for the first time.
Stella Berry, 16, had been jet skiing when she jumped in the Swan River, in Perth, to swim near dolphins on Saturday afternoon.
But her friends watched in horror as she was mauled by a shark just moments later.
Ms Berry was pulled from the river near the Fremantle traffic bridge after she sustained significant injuries to her leg.
Emergency personnel provided medical assistance but the teenager tragically died.
Ms Berry’s parents paid tribute to their “vibrant and happy” daughter in a moving public statement.
“Stella 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,” her parents Sophie and Matt said.
“She had an infectious laugh … Stella loved creating art and spending times with her friends, particularly at the river and beach.”
Several of Ms Berry’s friends gathered at the river bank in North Fremantle on Sunday to pay tribute to her.
One of her friends, Lara Connolly, told ABC News she was the “sweetest and smartest girl that I knew”.
“She never did anything wrong to anybody,” Ms Connolly said.
“She was so kind. She loved art.”
Acting inspector Paul Robinson said the victim had been riding jet skis with friends when she decided to enter the water.
“There was possibly a pod of dolphins seen nearby and the young female jumped in the water to swim nearby the dolphins,” he said.
“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 counselling services to anyone who did witness it or is affected by the incident.”
He said the Department of Fisheries had advised him it was unusual for a shark to be so far down the river, which flows through Perth into the Indian Ocean.
“I’ve spoken to fisheries and water police and unfortunately we have no idea what type of shark it is,” Mr Robinson said.
Eyewitness Joshua Banks told News Corp: “We saw them get off the jet skis near the beach and jump off and swim to the shore quickly.”
There have been three shark attacks in Swan River in 50 years but the first fatality in 100 years.
There were 15 shark attacks in Australia in 2022 with one fatality.
Shark attacks in Australia are relatively rare, with an average of 12.5 incidents occurring a year over the past decade. Fatalities have decreased since the 1990s.