A teenage girl has been killed by a shark while surfing in West Australia. And marking a shift in government policy, drumlines have not be auto-deployed at the site of the attack
17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer died from massive blood loss after she was attacked by a shark while surfing at Kelp Beds, near Esperance, with her father on Monday.
It is understood her father carried her to the beach where paramedics administered CPR. Laeticia's leg was severed in the attack and she was taken to Esperance Hospital where she tragically died. Police have recommended that people should stay out of the water until further notice.
In a statement to Australia's 9 News Laeticia's uncle Steve Evans said: ''We're terribly heartbroken and sad upon this tragic accident. We can take comfort in the fact that Laetecia died doing something she loved. The ocean was her and her family's passion.''
It's the first fatal attack that has occurred under the watch of fisheries minister Dave Kelly. While campaigning, Mr Kelly was vocal about drumlines, claiming that they do not make beaches safer from the threat of shark attacks. Reiterating that point, Mr Kelly said drumlines would not be auto-deployed at Kelpies, which marks a significant change in government policy.
According to 9 News, Mr Kelly said: ''We made it clear in opposition that we don't see the merit in automatically deploying drumlines because they don't actually make our beaches any safer.
'We made it clear in opposition that we don't see the merit in automatically deploying drumlines because they don't actually make our beaches any saferObviously the whole incident is very raw at this point in time so I don't intend to debate the whole pros and cons of various elements of the shark mitigation policy today.''
Instead, Mr Kelly says the new Labor government want to promote individual shark deterrents, and a new policy could be announced in the next few weeks.
9 News claim that last year, Labor proposed a $200,000 subsidy scheme for personal shark deterrents. As part of this, 1,000 devices such as Shark Shield would be available with a $200 state government subsidy.
However, opposition leader Mike Nahan said if the Liberals were in power, they would have put out drumlines and have now questioned the effectiveness of Shark Shields.
This latest attack is just east of Wylie Bay, where Sean Pollard was attacked by two great whites in October 2014 and lost his left arm and right hand as a result of the attack.
Last year, there were two fatal attacks in Western Australia. In May, Ben Getting died after an attack at Falcon Beach and a month later, 60-year-old Doreen Collyer died after a great white attack just north of Perth.
The two fatalities were the first in West Aus since December 2014.