SYDNEY, Feb 5 (Reuters) – A 16-year-old girl died on Saturday after being mauled by a shark in a river in Western Australia’s state capital Perth after she jumped in the water to swim with a pod of dolphins.
Police said they were called to the scene of the attack about 3:45 p.m. Saturday (0745 GMT) near a traffic bridge in the Swan River, in the Fremantle port area of Perth.
The girl was pulled from the water with critical injuries and she died at the scene, police said in a statement.
Police believe the victim was with friends and jumped off a jet ski to swim with a pod of dolphins in the river when the shark attack occurred.
Authorities were not sure what kind of shark attacked the girl, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.
People were being urged to take extra caution in the Swan River around Fremantle in the wake of the mauling.
The last fatal shark attack in Western Australian waters was in November 2021 when a 57-year-old man was killed by a great white shark at Perth’s Port Beach.
A man was severely injured by a bull shark while swimming in the Swan River in January 2021.
More than 100 species of shark live in the waters of Western Australia – the nation’s largest state, with bull sharks often found many kilometres upriver.
The risk of shark attacks in the state is low, according to the state government, which has set up a dedicated shark response unit to work with first responders on shark incidents.
On the east coast, several Sydney beaches, including the iconic Bondi and Bronte, were shut down last February after a swimmer was killed in a shark attack, the first such fatality at the city’s beaches in nearly 60 years.
Australia ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark bites on humans in 2021, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.
Reporting by Samuel McKeith; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast.