Jess Mooney, girlfriend of shark attack victim Kyle Burden, with a wreath at the service.
Jess Mooney, girlfriend of shark attack victim Kyle Burden, with a wreath at the service.

The girlfriend of shark attack victim Kyle Burden has thanked his friends and fellow surfers after a memorial service in Bunker Bay today.

Jess Mooney was travelling overseas when she heard the news of her boyfriend’s death.

More than 50 surfers attended the beach service for Kyle this morning.

Ms Mooney threw flowers in the water at the Boneyards surf break where Kyle died on Sunday afternoon.

She read out some of his writing about his surfing in Bali, in which he described how he sat alone in the ocean there: “Then like magic, with the reef to myself, (the break) lights up one last time 3–4 ft and barrel after barrel for 30 minutes.”

She later said she wanted to thank the community for coming to celebrate Kyle’s life.

Mr Burden’s mother Sharon said meeting her son's friends had brought her great comfort.

“He brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people,” she said.

Ms Burden said that despite the pain, much of the past few days had been spent laughing alongside people who had also loved her son.

“Along with everyone here, Kyle loved this place,” she said. “Being here with you all has been amazing … in very tragic circumstances.

“I have heard a lot of funny stories, which has been an enormous comfort.”

The memorial service, was a “celebration” which her son would have loved, Ms Burden said.

Also at the service was Melissa Edwards, whose 31-year-old husband Nick was killed in the waters off Gracetown on August 17 last year.

Mrs Edwards embraced Ms Mooney and Ms Burden, as they stood united in grief.

Sharon Burden and Jess Mooney at the service. Picture Becky Felstead/Busselton Margaret River Times

Ms Burden said she admired Mrs Edwards for coming to the memorial, saying simply “my heart breaks for her.”

Friends said the celebration was “awesome” and just how Kyle wanted to be remembered.

Ben Upston, who often stayed with Kyle in Margaret River, described his friend as being one of few people as excited by surfing as he was.

“He was just an amazing person,” he said.

Amidst the laughter and tears, police chaplain Keith Carmody called on his surfers to remember the tragedy each time they went out into the water at Bunker Bay.

“Remember every time you surf here, that someone important died here,” he said.

The West Australian

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