Seaside town shocked after ‘freak’ shark attack on boy
A Stanley fisherman has described the moment a 10-year-old boy was attacked by a shark as a "freak accident".
The boy, from Tasmania's North-West, was rushed to hospital with head, chest and arm wounds after a shark ripped him from a fishing boat and into the water.
Ambulance Tasmania on Friday afternoon said the boy and his father were aboard a six-metre vessel, 5km from shore at Stanley in the state's North West, when a shark pulled the boy from the boat.
He was taken to the North West Regional Hospital after suffering lacerations to his arm and other cuts to his head and chest.
The boy's father jumped into the water to help his son, at which point the shark swam away.
The 10-year-old is in a stable condition, Ambulance Tasmania said.
Police earlier on Friday warned of a large shark off the coast near Stanley.
Stanley fisherman Steve Hursey described the shark attack as a "freak accident".
"It's just unheard of," he said.
"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.
"I have heard of shark attacks occurring before but have never heard of anyone being pulled out of a boat."
Mr Hursey said he was told the shark caused damage to the boat, which led him to believe the shark must have been more than three metres in size.
Circular Head mayor Daryl Quilliam said the child's shark attack had been the "talk of the town" on Friday afternoon.
"It's such a rare event. I'm not aware of any other shark attacks that have ever occurred in our district," he said.
"Thankfully the father jumped in to save his child, and the boy is now in a stable condition."
Mr Quillam said he expected the Stanley community to rally behind the boy and his family.
"Circular Head residents are good at looking after each other," he said.
"We had a road tragedy here last weekend, and someone told me they were amazed at how much support was shown to the family after that incident.
"This shark attack will be no different. It will be a traumatic time for the boy and his family so we will help them out. We'll do whatever we can."
TASMANIA Police have warned of a large shark off the coast near Stanley.
Police issued the alert shortly after 1pm today.
"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.
Originally published as Seaside town shocked after 'freak' shark attack on boy