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Hundreds pay tribute to 15-year-old surfer mauled to death in 'nightmare' shark attack
Featured Image Credit: 9News

Hundreds pay tribute to 15-year-old surfer mauled to death in 'nightmare' shark attack

Hundreds have attended a vigil at an Australian beach in memory of 15-year-old surfer Khai Cowley.

Hundreds have paid tribute to a 15-year-old surfer who was killed in a horror shark attack by gathering at his favorite beach.

Khai Cowley's body was pulled from a popular beach in Australia on 28 December, 2023, minutes after a devastating attack.

The horrid incident occurred near Ethel Beach in the Innes National Park, bringing huge devastation to his family and the whole local community.

Khai's leg was bitten off by the shark, as witnesses said his horrified father looked on in disbelief.

The dad had treated his teenage son to a trip to the beach to practice his surf skills, as they travelled four hours from their home in Seaford, Adelaide.

Khai tragically died last month.
Facebook/Khai Cowley

One person who witnessed the harrowing ordeal just days after Christmas spoke to the Adelaide Advertiser.

They said: "The shark took his leg, and so another local guy ran out, jumped on his board and paddled out to help him.

"The shark was circling them as the guy pulled the boy out of the water. There was a lot of blood.

"He brought him to shore but I think it was too late by then."

Huge crowds gathered at Seaford on Monday (22 January) to honour Khai, including his heartbroken father, as the local council said more than 500 guests were set to attend the vigil.

Mourners carried the 15-year-old's coffin through a guard of honour, as Khai's younger brother, Jett, walked ahead holding his surfboard.

Jett paid tribute to the 'best big brother ever' in an emotional funeral.

Tim Cowley, Khai's father, said: "It’s so cruel that he’s been taken from us at such a young age."

Speaking of his love for surfing, Cowley added: "Most of the time it was beyond my ability, leaving me no choice but to sit on the beach and watch my beautiful boy do what he loved.

The funeral was understandably an emotional affair.

"We miss you so much. You filled our lives with so many beautiful memories. I’m so sorry it went the way it did," the emotional parent concluded.

Flowers, shells and photographs of Khai with his nearest and dearest decorate a wooden bench facing the water, while the rest of the beach was lined with flowers and touching messages from Khai’s surfer friends.

According to the MailOnline, one of these messages read: "Forever in our hearts Khai. It has been a pleasure sharing the waves with you over the years and I will miss you so much. Forever a much-loved bowl rat."

Khai was destined to reach the top in surfing, ranking as the 146th under 18 surfer in Australia before his tragic death.

Topics: Australia, News, World News, Shark