Boy, 11, stable after mauling by shark on the Great Barrier Reef

An 11-year-old boy was in a stable condition in hospital after he was mauled by a shark on the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian east coast, officials said.

The boy was attacked by a black-tipped reef shark on Tuesday afternoon as he waded off a beach at the Heron Island tourist resort northeast of the coastal town of Gladstone, Queensland Ambulance Service paramedic Brad Lawson said.

Officials have not released the victim’s name or commented on media reports that he is an Italian tourist on holiday with his family.

He sustained a significant injury to his right calf, ambulance service spokesman Krathyn White said.

The boy’s father helped him from the water and took him to the resort’s nurse, who treated his wounds, Lawson said.

“The child is in quite good spirits. Quite happy, quite jovial,” Lawson said.

The nurse and father accompanied the boy in a flight to Gladstone Hospital, Lawson said.

The boy’s condition was stable, a hospital spokeswoman said. She declined to give her name, citing health department policy.

The boy was expected to be flown 440 kilometres to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Queensland state capital Brisbane later last night, she said.

The attack came three days after a spear fisherman was injured by a shark off an island northwest of Heron Island.


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