On Saturday, there was a fatal shark attack in Swan River in Australia. Stella Berry was riding jet skis with her friends when she spotted a pod of dolphins. She jumped into the river, hoping to swim with them. Instead, she got attacked by a shark, most likely a bull shark. The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.
Remembering Stella Berry
Stella’s parents and friends are left shocked, like those at the Perth’s Swan River. Her parents, Sophie and Matt Berry, said she was a “loving big sister and the best daughter.” Their daughter loved art and spending time at the river and beach with her friends. Stella’s friend Lara Connolly said she was the “sweetest and smartest girl I knew”. She loved to run and was hoping to run a marathon one day. Another friend, Teagan McArthur, said that the tragedy “doesn’t feel real.”
Premier Mark McGowan offered his condolences to the family and said the government would look into what could be done to prevent another tragedy like this. He stated that measurements were taken to the ocean, but the same is hard to apply to the river. The Swan River is murky and brown, which makes it hard to see through from an aerial view.
WA Fisheries Minister Don Punch said, “Shark barriers is something we’re always open to talking to local government about.” While the authorities have not yet determined the type of shark that attacked Stella Berry, Punch believed it to be a bull shark. They like to enter the freshwater river system and have been spotted previously in the water.
Stella was the first fatal shark attack in Swan River in 100 years. There have been six previous attacks but none fatal. Stella is the seventh shark attack victim since 1923. On January 31, 1923, a 13-year-old boy died while swimming six meters from the shore at Freshwater Bay.
This is also a good reminder that you should not try to swim with dolphins. It’s illegal to do so, and sharks could be present where there are dolphins.