A teenage surfer was killed in a shark attack in Australia. The deadly shark attack reportedly happened in front of the father of the talented surfing teenager.

A teenage surfer – who was mauled to death in a shark attack – was identified as 15-year-old Khai Cowley.

On Thursday afternoon, Khai was surfing at Ethel Beach on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. Khai’s father was with him on the water, according to the New York Post.

Suddenly, a suspected great white shark attacked Cowley. Business Insider reported that Cowley’s “leg was bitten off” during the animal attack.

Local surfer – Tim Philip – told 7News, “I started moving down toward the beach and I could see the dad on the rocks sort of yelling and his son swimming towards him.”

Phillips added that he paddled out toward Cowley, but the suspected great white shark began circling. He believed that the animal was a 13-foot great white shark.

“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,” Phillips explained. “It was just a matter of … I didn’t want to see his body out to sea, so did what I could.”

Emergency services rushed to the Australian beach, but could not save Khai.

Khai was reportedly on vacation when he suddenly died from the shark attack.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to pay for funeral costs for the family.

The GoFundMe campaign described Kai as “a most beautiful soul” who was taken too soon.

Cowley’s grandfather, Peter Barley, said of his grandson’s tragic death: “So hurting…I’ve never seen people so hurt, honestly… it’s something to behold. I keep thinking at any minute he’s just going to keep walking through the front door.”

Ryan Valente, the owner of a local fishing charter company, told ABC Radio Adelaide. “It’s the stuff nightmares are made of. I’ve got some friends in the area who’ve been here since day dot, and talking to them, not even in their memory can they remember anything close to an event like this.”

Khai’s surf club, the Seaview Road Boardriders, stated on its Instagram page:

We write this in disbelief and devastation at the loss of our grom Khai. We send our love to Kate, Tim, and younger brother Jett. Khai is a 3rd generation Roader with his grandfather Pete Barley leading the way, and his uncle Adam guiding him over the years. All three took out awards at the Southern Surf Festival in a special moment for their family and for Roaders. Khai surfed his last rally at the Roaders single fin memorial, shining on the day and as always offering a helping hand. He was a true club man, a Roader through and through and the club was proud to award him the outstanding grom performer award for 2023. He was a standout. He helped the little groms, made their trainings fun and they all looked up to him. Khai was one of our top groms and was due to represent the club at the Boardriders Battle in March. We will surf this for you Khai with all our heart and soul. You will live on in our hearts and memories, once a Roader always a Roader. Represent the skull and crossbones up there grom. We will all miss you so much and will keep on shredding for you.

Surfing South Australia said in a statement:

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. Khai was very involved in our surfing community with his passion for surfing stemming from a family with deep surfing roots in SA. He was a happy, kind and respectful kid, very much loved by his surfing peers and he will be greatly missed out in our community and on the water.

There have been several serious shark bite incidents in recent months.

Cowley is the third shark attack fatality this year in Australia.

Tod Gendle, 55, was killed in October in a shark attack at Granites Beach on Australia’s West Coast.

In May, 46-year-old teacher Simon Baccanello died in a shark attack while surfing at Walkers Rock Beach.

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