In a tragic incident, a 15-year-old boy lost his life to a shark attack while surfing with his father in Australia last Thursday. The teenager, Khai Cowley, was a skilled surfer and was vacationing with his family at the time of the incident. The attack occurred near Ethel Beach in Innes National Park, a popular yet remote tourist spot located off the Yorke Peninsula in southern Australia.
According to eyewitness accounts, Cowley was pulled from the water after a shark, believed to be a great white, bit off his leg. Tim Philip, a local surfer who was present at the scene, described the horrifying incident. He saw the boy’s father yelling from the rocks and the boy swimming towards him. Philip estimated the shark to be about 13 feet long.
Philip, who was in waist-deep water at the time, made the decision to run back into the water, now chest-deep, to rescue the boy. He managed to drag Cowley back to shore, where paramedics were quickly on the scene. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to save the teenager.
Ethel Beach, where the incident occurred, is known for its wildlife, including sharks. A local fisherman confirmed that sharks are a common sight along Marion Bay, which is in the vicinity of Ethel Beach. He mentioned that the road to Ethel Beach was blocked by rangers after the incident, and due to the lack of cell reception in the park, they were unaware of what had transpired until they returned to Marion Bay.
Cowley, who was ranked 146th among under-18 surfers in Australia, was recognized as the “most outstanding grom performer” by his local Seaview Road Board Riders surf club just two weeks before his untimely death. The term “grom” or “grommet” is used to refer to young surfers under the age of 18.
Surfing South Australia, in an Instagram post, expressed their devastation at the loss of a young, talented, and beloved member of their surfing community. They extended their deepest sympathies to Cowley’s family and requested respect for their privacy during this difficult time.
This incident is the latest in a series of shark attacks in Australian waters in recent months. In November, a surfer was killed by a shark near Streaky Bay, north of Marion Bay. In October, a woman was left with leg injuries after a shark attack near Beachport. According to the International Shark Attack File, Australia has the second-highest number of shark attacks, following the United States.