A Tribute To Jay Muscat, The Teenager Taken By A Shark Near Albany, Western Australia

Getty/Dan Kitwood

Families and friends of Jay Muscat, who died Tuesday when he was bitten by a shark east of Albany, Western Australia, have paid tribute to the 17-year-old.

His family released a statement thanking everyone for their support:

“We are all devastated over the sudden tragic passing of Jay. He was a spirited young man who loved the ocean. Jay would take any chance to go fishing, diving or swimming. He loved Hawthorn as his Dad does and that was evident as Jay’s Hawthorn memorabilia was the most worn items in his wardrobe. Jay loved life to the full and was most happy fishing and diving. He loved growing up in Albany and had just completed year 12. He was enjoying his new found freedom of the summer break with friends before finding a job. From a very early age it was obvious that fishing was his passion and was always going to be a huge part of his life, we can take some comfort in knowing Jay passed doing something he loved. As a family we are so proud of Jay a loving son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend to all. We would like to thank everyone for their heartfelt support and kind words, as our family grieves.”

On Facebook, a tribute page has been setup, attracting 1,500 likes.

Screenshot of Jay Muscat’s Facebook page.

“Thank you for your well wishes and support,” the page says. “Jay has touched the lives of many and will be forever in our hearts and thoughts.”

A funeral will be held in Albany Tuesday, January 6.

Muscat was spearfishing with school friend Matt Pullella at Cheynes Beach east of Albany when he was bitten on the leg by a shark and died.

The popular holiday summer beach has been closed and authorities are trying to catch the shark.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.