The grandfather of a 10-year-old Tasmanian boy who was pulled into the water by a shark while fishing says his grandson is in shock but recovering.
- On Friday, Lucas was grabbed from the boat and pulled into the water by a shark
- He was taken to the Launceston General Hospital and is in a stable condition
- His grandfather says the incident has been “a shock to our family”
Authorities said on Friday that 10-year-old Lucas was in a 6-metre fishing vessel 5 kilometres off the coast of the north-west town Stanley when the shark “grabbed him from the boat”.
Lucas’s father John jumped in the water and the shark, believed to be a great white, let go of the boy.
Lucas was then taken to the Launceston General Hospital, where he is recovering from the surgery.
His grandfather, David Arnott, said the father-son duo were not cleaning fish on the boat when the incident happened.
“A shark, unprovoked and undetected, jumped out of the water and grabbed Lucas, pulling him over the side of the boat into the water,” he said.
“As you would understand, it was a shock to all those involved, a shock to our family. It’s taken a while for us to actually digest what’s happened.
“We just want to get Lucas home and work through his issues.”
Mr Arnott said fishing had always been a big part of the family’s life, and they understood the dangers of the sea.
‘Sharks do not want to eat people’: researcher
Shark researcher and author Chris Black described the ordeal as a “very rare occurrence” and “freak incident”.
“A shark is an opportunistic feeder, so it will investigate odour trails in the water or any silhouettes that it believes may be prey and once that happens, its natural hunting instinct will kick in,” he said.
He said the shark was likely “just pursuing its natural function” while patrolling his territory.
“Sharks do not want to eat people. They do not intentionally eat people. We’re not part of their normal diet,” he said.
“However, on a certain day, a specific shark might find that a particular part of the sea it wants to keep to itself because it might be hunting in that range.
“It does sort of put the highlight on the fact of what we’re putting into the water at any given time, where we are in the water.
Stanley resident and abalone diver Ben Allen told ABC Radio Hobart on Friday he was at a nearby boat ramp when the incident happened.
“All of sudden, the shark’s leapt clean out of the water and it’s grabbed the little boy and pulled him straight in,” Mr 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.
“Congratulations to dad. Top fella, it was just a very, very scary thing.”