Grandfather of 10yo shark victim says family is in ‘shock’ and coming to terms with the incident


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.

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 are known as “opportunistic feeders”.(AAP: ScreenWest)

‘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.”

Dent on the side of a fishing boat
The shark left a dent in the fishing boat when it launched itself over the side to grab the boy.(Supplied: Ben Allen)



Source link

10yo in stable condition after shark ‘grabbed him from boat’


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.

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 child 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, before being transferred to the Launceston General Hospital on Friday evening.

Paramedics said the child was wearing a flotation device.

The shark left a dent in the fishing boat when it launched itself over the side to grab the boy.(Supplied: Ben Allen)

Boy has ‘something to tell the kids when he grows up’, witness says

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.

Woman survives suspected great white shark attack in Sydney
Local abalone divers say great white sharks have been seen in the area before.(News Video)

Mr Allen told ABC Radio Hobart the family was cleaning flathead on the boat when the attack occurred.

“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.”

‘Buy a lottery ticket’

Mr Allen said the boy has “got something to tell the kids when he grows up”.

“It is obviously a freak accident and I really do feel for the family — it could have been a lot lot worse … buy a lottery ticket, I think.”

He 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.”

Main entrance at North West Regional Hospital.
The boy has been taken to the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie.(ABC News: Rick Eaves)

Mr Allen believes the shark would have been “in feeding mode”.

“We have a seal rookery nearby, that’s obviously where they are feeding.”

He said there had been “a couple of divers of late that have been bailed up on the bottom and they’ve said [sharks] have not been aggressive so he was obviously ready to feed … it’s just the time and place that you are obviously encountering”.

“You’ve got to accept the consequences. We are in the water two or three times a week diving and me personally I haven’t seen one, but I’ve got a lot of good mates that have seen them,” Mr Allen said.

Cleaning fish likely trigger, expert says

Shark attack researcher and author Chris Black said it was likely the shark was spooked by the father’s action.

“It was probably the last thing it expected,” he said.

“If they had been cleaning fish off the side of the boat, then clearly that’s put entrails into the water that a passing shark will react to.

“It’s in the DNA to investigate any source that could be food for them.”

Mr Black described the incident as a “very rare occurrence”.

“That shark, I can only stress again and again, was only doing what is natural to it.”

Tasmania police had issued an alert just before 2:00pm on Friday warning of a “large shark” sighting approximately 10 kilometres off the coast of Stanley.

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

In 2015, a recreational scallop diver was killed in front of his daughter by what was understood to be a great white shark off Tasmania’s east coast.



Source link