An eight-year-old boy survived a vicious shark attack after punching the predator in its face.
Napat Chaiyarak Christenko was swimming in the sea with his father in Phuket, Thailand, on Sunday when he was attacked by a shark.
He screamed in pain before trying to kick away the shark. However, the creature was unrelenting.
He then reached down and punched it in the head, Napat told police in the Kamala district.
Napat’s terrified parents dragged the boy up from the water as blood gushed from the wounds on his right calf.
The shark, believed to be either a bull shark or a blacktip reef shark up to 4ft long, disappeared into the depths.
Paramedics rushed to the scene and performed first-aid before taking Napat to the Bangkok Hospital in Phuket for treatment over the weekend.
The boy told doctors that it was the most painful thing he had ever felt.
He said: “I felt a pain in my leg and looked down and saw the shark biting me. It was the most painful thing ever. I punched it to make it leave me alone.”
Doctors examined the wound and initially suspected that the boy was bitten by a barracuda fish that was about 80-120 centimetres long, based on the bite marks.
“The wounds were caused by a shark as both upper and lower teeth were used in combination. It was a sharp wound on both sides, with both upper and lower teeth snapping at the same time. The shark came in for food and thought the boy was food, therefore biting his leg. But when it took a bite and realised it was not food it did not attack again,” he added.
Kamala district officials have already rushed to reassure worried tourists by installing a warning sign near the scene and arranged for surveillance officers until there are no sharks in the area.