A 10-year-old boy was grabbed from a boat and mauled by a shark before his heroic dad jumped into the water to save him.
The family was fishing on a six-metre vessel about 5km off the coast of Stanley, northwest Tasmania, on Friday afternoon when he was attacked.
The boy suffered head, chest, and arm wounds and was rushed to North West Regional Hospital, where he is in a stable condition.
An eyewitness described the terrifying moment the boy was snatched from the boat by the agitated shark.
His father and two other men managed to scare the shark away when they dived into the ocean and rescued the boy.
An abalone diver who witnessed the horrifying ordeal described how the monster shark grabbed the boy.
‘All of a sudden the shark leapt clean out of the water, hit the side of the boat and snapped the rod clean off in the rod holder,’ Ben Allen told 9News.
‘It grabbed the boy all in the one swipe … and pulled him into the water.’
Witnesses said they believed the shark to be a Great White but that has not yet been confirmed.
‘The boy, who was wearing a personal flotation device, suffered lacerations to his arm, and other cuts to his chest and head,’ Ambulance Tasmania said.
Mr Allen said the boy’s father jumped into the water out of ‘natural instinct’ and managed to grab him just in time.
After the frightening incident, the boy was taken into a fish and chip shop to keep warm until an ambulance arrived.
Tasmanian Police earlier issued a shark warning for the area about 1pm on Friday.
‘Please be advised there has been a large shark sighted in the Stanley area. If swimming or undertaking fishing and other marine activities please take necessary precautions,’ it read.
Local fisherman Steve Hursey said the freak shark attack was unheard of.
‘I’m 28 years old and have been fishing all my life and never have I even seen a shark here, let alone a shark attack. We don’t normally get them up here,’ he told the Mercury.
Mr Hursey said, due to the damage on the side of the boat, the predator must have been at least three meters long.
‘I have heard of shark attacks occurring before but have never heard of anyone being pulled out of a boat.’
Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam the incident is now the ‘talk of the town’ and residents in the remote community of 8,000 residents have never heard of anything like it.
‘Thankfully the father jumped in to save his child, and the boy is now in a stable condition,’ he said.
This article was first published by The Mail Online on 17 July 2020. Lead Image: A 10-year-old boy was grabbed from a boat and mauled by a shark before his heroic dad jumped into the water to save him (Universal Images Group via Getty).
What you can do
Support ‘Fighting for Wildlife’ by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute. Thank you.