Shark kills teenage girl surfing with father in Western Australia

Bethany Minelle, News Reporter

A 17-year-old girl has died after being mauled by a shark while out surfing with her father off the south coast of Western Australia.

The attack at a popular surfer break known as Kelp Beds, near the town of Esperance, was reportedly witnessed from the beach by the teenager's mother and sisters.

Seven News said the girl's leg was badly mauled in the attack and she lost a lot of blood when pulled from the water.

She was treated on the beach before being transferred to Esperance Hospital in a critical condition

Police later confirmed she had died from her injuries, tweeting their condolences and describing the attack as "devastating".

Wylie Bay Beach has been closed until further notice, and police have urged people to stay out of the area for at least the next 48 hours.

According to government website Shark Smart WA, a medium-sized great white has been spotted in the area twice over the past week.

The Department of Fisheries will begin patrolling the beach and water in the Wylie Bay area near Esperance on Tuesday, and will be launching an investigation into the attack.

In 2014, a 23-year-old man lost both hands after a shark attack in the same area.

The year before, a man was seriously injured by a suspected great white while diving for sea snails off an area called Poison Creek in the waters off Esperance.

Although sharks are common in Australian waters, the country has averaged fewer than two fatal attacks per year in recent decades.

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