"She wanted to run a marathon; she saw herself completing school and going to explore life overseas," her school Principal said in a statement.
A teenage girl in Western Australia has been killed in a rare shark attack on February 4, authorities said. Stella Berry, 16, was jet skiing with friends on the Swan River in Perth when she jumped into the water to swim with a pod of dolphins, as per CNN.
Shocked Perth residents have been paying their respects at the scene of a shark attack on the Swan River which claimed the life of a teenager.— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) February 5, 2023
16-year-old schoolgirl Stella Berry had been swimming with friends when she jumped into the water. @MiaEgerton #9News pic.twitter.com/vd5rdW0MmY
"There was possibly a pod of dolphins seen nearby and the young female jumped in the water to swim nearby the dolphins," Police Acting Inspector Paul Robinson said, per ABC News. Authorities reached the scene just before 4 p.m. near a traffic bridge, where Berry was pulled out from the water with critical injuries, including massive blood loss, 7 News Australia reported.
Incredibly heartbreaking scenes in North Fremantle today. Dozens of locals and friends pay tribute to 16yo Stella Berry, who was killed in a shark attack yesterday. #perthnews #sharkattack #fremantle @abcperth pic.twitter.com/amgdxoXQTM— Herlyn Kaur (@K_Herlyn) February 5, 2023
The girl died at the scene, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. It was the first deadly shark attack on the river in 100 years. "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," Robinson said, per CBS News. "So obviously we're offering counseling services to anyone who did witness it or is affected by the incident."
Loved ones and strangers are sharing their heartbreak over the shock death of a Perth teenager mauled by a shark in the Swan River.— 9News Perth (@9NewsPerth) February 5, 2023
Shenton College student Stella Berry was swimming with friends when she was attacked in front of horrified onlookers. @MiaEgerton #9News pic.twitter.com/6AVj4P6ovU
Berry might have been killed by a bull shark as per some reports, but officials have not yet publicly confirmed the species that was involved. "I've spoken to fisheries and water police and unfortunately we have no idea what type of shark it is," Robinson said, per ABC News.
Shark nets considered after rare attack in Swan River that killed teenager Stella Berry https://t.co/Sr8ld4enTo— ABC News (@abcnews) February 6, 2023
In 2021, a bull shark attacked a local man in his 50s in the same river, CNN reported. The sharks can be aggressive at times, experts said. "The Swan River estuary is good bull shark habitat and this means people can come into close contact with them," Andrew Chin, a senior research fellow at James Cook University, told the outlet.
16-year-old Stella Berry has been identified as the teenager who was attacked by a shark in Swan River in North Fremantle yesterday afternoon.— 10 News First (@10NewsFirst) February 5, 2023
Berry was a Year 11 student who attended Shenton College located approximately 8km from Perth’s CBD. pic.twitter.com/TFuiwSeXer
Berry is remembered by her school community as having "an impressive sense of conviction about where she was in her life and what she hoped to achieve." Her school principal, Michael Morgan, wrote in a statement on social media, "I would not presume to assert that I understand the pain and anguish that is being felt by the Berry family and Stella's friends at this difficult time. I do hope, however, that as Principal of Shenton College, I have the responsibility and right to respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the life of Stella Berry – Shenton student, Year 11."
The devastated parents of the 16-year-old girl, Stella Berry, who was killed by a shark in the Swan River yesterday have released photos of their daughter, along with a statement. She’s described by her parents as a “vibrant, happy girl” and a “dear friend to many”. 💔 #PerthNews pic.twitter.com/iOUYfGbIyw— Tom Marlow (@TomMarlow_) February 5, 2023
"She wanted to run a marathon; she saw herself completing school and going to explore life overseas," Morgan added. "In her short time here at Shenton College, Stella has given embodiment to her name – for Stella, like her name, was a star. She radiated light into the lives of others and had a lasting positive impact on everyone she touched," Morgan continued.
The family of 16-year-old Stella Berry who was killed by a shark in the Swan River have just released a statement. @7NewsPerth— Ben Downie (@Ben_Downie) February 5, 2023
"We are devastated and deeply shocked by the loss of our beautiful daughter Stella.
"We want to acknowledge the amazing support we have received." pic.twitter.com/hChJUUtxFJ
The girl's parents, Matt and Sophie Berry released a statement following her death, per the Sydney Morning Herald. "We are devastated and deeply shocked by the loss of our beautiful daughter who was a vibrant and happy girl with plans of living in Europe after school," they wrote in part. "She was a caring person and was a dear friend to many, across a variety of schools in the area," they said, and added, "She had an infectious laugh which we couldn't help laughing at too when we heard it."
Cover Image Source: Youtube | 10 News First