This is SO tragic! After suffering extensive injuries from a vicious shark attack on Apr. 17, 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer has passed away. The young surfer was attacked while vacationing with her fam in Australia as her horrified mom & sisters helplessly watched from the beach. Get the devastating details here.
We can’t even imagine what the Brouwer family is going through right now. After all, Laeticia Brouwer, 17, died on Apr. 17 shortly following a shark attack off the coast of Western Australian. The teen was violently mauled by what some believe to be a great white shark, and the animal reportedly tore off her leg. And if that’s not tragic enough, her poor family — mom, dad, and two sisters — witnessed the entire incident but could do nothing to stop it.
— Rebecca Johns (@Rebecca_C_Johns) April 18, 2017
— Caitlyn Rintoul (@caitlynrintoul) April 17, 2017
A spokesman at the Esperance police told The Australian that Laeticia and her father, both experienced surfers, were “not a long way off-shore” when the attack occurred. And while the desperate dad was able to bring his daughter out of the water, she had already lost too much blood. Even still though, family members — along with a nurse who was at the beach — performed first aid and even applied a tourniquet to prevent even further blood loss.
“The father obviously tried everything he could to help his daughter but sadly he wasn’t able to save her,” Esperance police acting Senior Sergeant Ben Jeffes said, calling the young surfer’s death an “absolute tragedy.” “He’s brought her to shore and then the family have contacted emergency services.”
St John Ambulance said paramedics arrived on the scene 19 minutes after they were called, however, Laeticia’s injuries were unrepairable. “Yesterday’s incident was a real traumatic event for everyone … you just do what you can, but we were working really against difficult circumstances,” Paul Gaughan, who helped save the life of surfer Sean Pollard after he was attacked by a shark in the same area back in 2014, said.
“When I arrived there was a nurse there with other people and of course the mother and father who were helping with CPR. It was quite a critical incident long before I arrived.” Paul revealed that everyone on the scene did do everything possible though to save the girl’s life, despite the severity of the attack.
“It really gave the young girl every possible chance under such dire circumstances for a positive outcome, unfortunately in this case though her injuries were just too severe,” he said. Laeticia never regained consciousness and ended up dying at Esperance Hospital following the incident, according to Perth Now. This marks the third shark attack fatality in Western Australia in less than a year, The Australian reports.
But although Laeticia’s family is completely devastated by the teenager’s death, they said they’re finding solace in knowing that she died in her happy place. “We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved,” Laeticia’s uncle, Steve Evans said in a statement. “The ocean was her and her family’s passion. Surfing was something she treasured doing with her dad and her sisters.”
Steve added, “Laeticia will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and everyone that knew her. We can take comfort that she is now in Heaven with the Lord in eternal peace.”
Our hearts go out to Laeticia’s loved ones during this extremely difficult time. HollywoodLifers, please leave your condolences for the Brouwer family below.