A young boy who was mauled by a shark has relived the terrifying moment he saw its shadow appear in the water before thinking: “I’m going to die”.
Jackson Bartley, 10, was snorkelling with his dad on a family holiday in Coral Bay, Perth, when he was savagely bitten by the beast on Friday.
The youngster described seeing the shark, a suspected bronze whaler, approach before it moved “faster and faster” towards him getting ready to attack.
It attempted to bite him once before returning to sink its teeth into his leg and swim off.
The youngster screamed at his dad “shark” then showed him “my big sore”.
“I was just snorkelling with my dad and then I saw this shadow,” he told ABC Australia.
“We did the snorkelling with the whale sharks a few days before and I thought since I saw a dugong snorkeling with the whale sharks … I thought it might have been a dugong at first.
“And then I thought it might have been a reefy [reef shark], but then it tried to bite me.
“But then it came closer and got faster and faster.”
Doctors were on the beach when the terrifying scenes unfolded and managed to jump in and brought him to safety on the shore.
Ambulance officers transported Jackson to the Coral Bay nursing post before the Royal Flying Doctor Service brought him to Perth.
“I was bleeding,” he said. “At the moment, I thought I was going to die because it was really scary.
But the plucky schoolboy has not let the encounter put him off getting back into the water.
He promised to return to surfing after first practising in deep pools to help ease himself back into it.
“I just love the ocean,” he said. “I still like sharks but I just don’t want to swim too close to big ones like that.”
The beach at the reef was closed for 24 hours after the incident.