A surfer carries his board into the water next to a sign declaring a shark sighting on Sydney's Manly Beach, Australia, Nov. 24, 2015. Reuters

A teenage girl died Monday after being attacked by a shark while surfing in Western Australia, police said. The 17-year-old girl was at Kelp Beds, near Wylie Bay in Esperance, along with her family to celebrate the Easter holiday.

The teenager, who has been identified as Laeticia Brouwer, was grabbed by the shark when she was surfing with her father while her mother and two sisters reportedly watched the horrific incident from the beach. The girl was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition and was later declared dead. According to local media, the girl's leg was badly mauled and she suffered extreme blood loss.

Laeticia’s uncle Steve Evans said the family was “terribly heartbroken and saddened by this tragic accident,” the Guardian reported. “We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved.”

Read: How Many Sharks Are Left?

“The ocean was her and her family’s passion. Surfing was something that she treasured doing with her dad and her sisters. Laeticia will be greatly missed by her family, friends and everyone who knew her," her uncle said. “We take comfort in the fact that she’s now in Heaven with the Lord in eternal peace.”

The incident resulted in the temporary closure of the Wylie Bay beach as the Department of Fisheries conducted beach and water patrols for any shark sightings. Surfers and swimmers were advised against going into the water for the next 48 hours.

Esperance police acting senior sergeant Ben Jeffes reportedly said that the girl's broken surfboard has been recovered and it will be analyzed to determine what kind of shark it was. The coastline is reportedly known for great white shark sightings.

“There’s a real sense of sadness and loss in the community here, it’s just terrible,” Jeffes said.

Last week, the Shark Smart WA website recorded two public shark sightings in the Esperance area — one medium-sized white shark was seen 150 meters offshore at Two Mile Beach in Hopetoun and another at 300 meters offshore at Crazies Reef.

Professional local fisherman Neville Mansted said that Western Australia was in need of shark nets to avoid such incidents. The latest fatal attack has revived the debate about measures to protect the public from sharks in the region.

The number of people attacked by sharks in 2000-2009 in Australia has almost doubled since 1990-1999. The country has seen an average of less than two deadly shark attacks per year.

In 2016, Australia witnessed at least 24 shark attacks, of which two were fatal and both took place in Western Australia. A 29-year-old surfer, Ben Gerring, was attacked at Falcon, 50 miles south of Perth, on May 31, 2016, and 60-year-old Doreen Ann Collyer died while diving off Mindarie, 25 miles north of Perth, on June 5, 2016.

According to a study last year, the risk of shark bites in Western Australia varies considerably with region and activity.

“Metropolitan Perth beach summer/autumn bathing less than 25m (meters) from shore in water less than 5m deep” was estimated as at least 50 times safer than cycling (based on the risk of a serious or fatal cycle crash), whereas “offshore diving and surf sports off Perth, during winter/spring” had a similar risk to cycling.