THE 11-year-old boy who was devastated by a shark while snorkeling just meters from shore was pictured after the horror attack.
Archie Blake was snorkeling near Exmouth, Western Australia, during the “trip of a lifetime” with his family when he was brutally bitten by the beast.
The attack happened after 3pm on Saturday and left Archie with “severe cuts” on his left leg.
The boy had left Hobart, Tasmania, with his parents and three siblings for a years-planned camping trip at Kurrajong Campground in Cape Range National Park.
Archie and his mother Hazel were about 50 meters from the beach when the attack took place.
Marc De Sousa, who was camping in the area and witnessed the incident, said the boy had a “decent” bite above the knee.
He told ABC: “I saw quite a bit of splashing, wasn’t sure what happened at the time but when the mum and the two kids started swimming in the mum waved for help.
“We walked over and the older of the guys got bitten on the leg I think by a decent shark I’d say.
“We just made sure he was conscious, made sure he was as good as possible.”
“My dad came just after me and ran to get the boy’s dad who was a paramedic I think.
“We dragged the boy further up the beach. I think it was a well-worn shirt that we only used to put pressure on one of the bite marks.”
He added that he then ran to the Kurrajong campsite to call an ambulance, which arrived 40 minutes later.
The boy was flown to Exmouth Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctors Service.
He is currently in stable condition at Perth Children’s Hospital.
Family friend Ryan Posselt said it was a long-awaited holiday for the Blake family.
He has set up a GoFundme page to collect donations for housing, travel expenses or any rehab that Archie may need.
He wrote: “Housing the family of six near Perth Hospital will not come cheap and then bringing Archie, the family and all their equipment (including car and caravan) home to Tasmania will be a costly affair.
“This fundraiser aims to put the financial worries out of the mind of a family who serves the community every day in their capacity as school teachers and paramedics.
“When they take financial worries out of their heads, they can focus on taking care of their children and just organize the logistics.
“The Blake family have been planning this trip for four years. Delayed and canceled by COVID, this trip was meant to be a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip with primary school aged children to show them this great country.”
Archie is expected to undergo multiple surgeries over the next few days.
A shark alert was issued in the area after the attack as swimmers were urged to be extra careful in the water.
Beaches have been closed from Pilgramunna north to Bloodwood Creek in Cape Range National Park.