17 Jul 2020

10yo in stable condition after shark 'grabbed him from boat'

8:02 pm on 17 July 2020

A shark that "grabbed" a 10-year-old boy from a fishing boat off the coast of north-west Tasmania "swam off" when the child's dad jumped in the water to save him.

Aerial view of Stanley in Tasmania, Australia

Aerial view of Stanley in Tasmania, Australia. Photo: 123RF

Authorities said the boy was in a 6 metre fishing vessel with his father and two other men on Friday afternoon when the shark "grabbed him from the boat".

The boy suffered lacerations to his arm, and other cuts to his chest and head.

The child, from north-west Tasmania, was this afternoon in a stable condition at the North West Regional Hospital.

Paramedics said the child was wearing a flotation device.

Stanley resident and abalone diver Ben Allen was at a nearby boat ramp when the party made it back to shore.

He spoke to witnesses and said the shark was believed to be a great white, but that has not been confirmed.

Allen said the family was cleaning flathead on the boat when the attack occurred.

"All of sudden, the shark's leapt clean out of the water and it's grabbed the little boy and pulled him straight in," Allen said.

"But as he's pulled him in, it's obvious the shark's let go.

"The father, with his natural instinct I suppose, has leapt in straight after his son and managed to grab him."

Police issue warning of 'large shark'

Allen said a friend of his administered first aid, and the boy was rushed into a nearby seafood shop to keep him dry and warm until the ambulance arrived.

"All the boys said [the shark] was big, I imagine it was very big. It is renowned for this time of year that they do go in that area," he said.

"The boys are saying [it was a] great white."

Tasmania police issued an alert just before 2pm warning of a "large shark" sighting approximately 10km off the coast of Stanley.

It warned anyone swimming or undertaking any other marine activities to "take necessary precautions".