Teen Surfer Dies After Shark Bites Off His Leg In Front Of His Dad: REPORT

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A teenage surfer reportedly died Thursday after a shark bit off his leg in front of his dad.

Khai Cowley was attacked while surfing around 1:30 p.m. at Ethel Beach on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, according to 7News. The 15-year-old’s father reportedly attempted to save his son from the shark before the boy died.

Paramedics and a witness also tried to save Cowley’s life to no avail, the outlet reported. One witness, local surfer Tim Philip, was standing on a cliff side when he spotted the teenager under attack, according to 7News. Philip borrowed a bystander’s surfboard, which he reportedly used to venture out toward Cowley in a rescue attempt.

“I started moving down toward the beach and I could see the dad on the rocks sort of yelling at his son swimming towards him,” Philip told the outlet.

“Probably, I’d say [it was] four metres [13 feet] … a pretty big shark,” Philip continued. “Then it started to head back out to sea. I was in waist deep water and just made the decision to run back … chest deep at this point, grab him and managed to drag him back to shore, back to the people on the beach.”

Cowley was on vacation with his family at the time of the attack, according to the outlet. The victim’s aunt, Lauryn Barley, created a fundraiser to cover Cowley’s funeral costs. She wrote that her nephew was attacked by a whiter pointer, commonly known as a great white shark.

Surfing South Australia also addressed the incident in an online tribute for Cowley, who they said was “very involved” in the surfing community at the beach, according to the outlet. (RELATED: American Woman Killed In Shark Attack While Paddleboarding Near Major Resort)  

“After the devastating news that one of our Grom surfers, Khai, was involved in a fatal incident at Ethel Beach on December 28th we have been keeping Khai’s family and friends in our thoughts,” the tribute said.