June 4, 2023

‘Beautiful daughter:’ Parents pay tribute to teenager killed by shark in Perth river

The parents of Stella Berry, who died in a fatal shark attack, have paid tribute to her.

The parents of the Perth teenager who was fatally attacked by a shark after jumping into the water while jetskiing have paid tribute to their “vibrant and happy girl.”

Stella Berry, 16,  was jetskiing on the Swan River in Perth when it was reported she jumped into the water to swim with a pod of dolphins. 

Fremantle police told 7News Berry was with friends on the river when she jumped in. 

“They were on jetskis, possibly a pod of dolphins were seen nearby and the young female jumped in the water to swim near the dolphins,” Fremantle district acting inspector Paul Robinson told 7News. 

Berry’s parents Sophie and Matt released an emotional statement on Saturday night saying they were devastated and deeply shocked by the loss of their “beautiful daughter Stella.”

“Stella was a vibrant and happy girl with plans of living in Europe after school. She was a caring person and was a dear friend to many, across a variety of schools in the area.

“She had an infectious laugh which we couldn’t help laughing at too when we heard it. Our thoughts are with Stella’s many friends at this time.

“She was a beautiful and loving big sister and the best daughter we could have hoped for.

“We respectfully ask that the media now allow us the space and time we need to grieve our darling girl.”

The teenager’s death is the second time there has been a shark attack in the river in 50 years and the first fatal one in 100 years. The last death was a schoolboy who was attacked in January 1923.

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