An 11-year-old boy was savaged by a shark off the coast of Western Australia. Archie Blake was snorkelling near Exmouth when he was attacked on Saturday afternoon.
The boy was dragged to safety and received emergency first aid, prior to the arrival of paramedics.
Archie, from Hobart, Tasmania, was on holiday with his parents and three siblings when the terrifying ordeal took place.
He and his mother, Hazel, were swimming around 50 metres off the coast when the shark tore into the child.
The family were helpless as the underwater beast bit into Archie’s leg, giving him “serious lacerations”.
Perth Children’s Hospital received Archie in a serious but stable condition in the wake of the devastating attack.
One of the helpers, Marc De Sousa, said a group of people took the boy up the beach and used a shirt to apply pressure to one of the areas the shark bit.
He told ABC: “I saw a fair bit of splashing and wasn’t sure what had happened at the time, but as the mum and the two kids started swimming in, the mum waved out for help.
“We ran over and the elder of the boys, I think, got bitten on the leg by a decent shark, I’d say. We just made sure he was conscious, made sure he was as good as he could be.”
An ambulance was called from the nearby Kurrajong Campground, which arrived around 40 minutes later.
Archie received treatment on the beach, before being airlifted to the children’s hospital for more treatment.
Beaches from Pilgramunna to Bloodwood Creek were closed and swimmers were advised to take care when entering the water.
Hobart councillor Ryan Posselt set up a GoFundMe page on Sunday to raise funds to support the family with accommodation, travel expenses and whatever rehabilitation Archie may require.
He is expected to have more surgery to treat his wounds and aid his recovery.