A British boy is seriously ill after apparently harpooning himself through the eye at 60mph while on holiday in an Italian seaside resort.
Devon White, 14, was enjoying a boating trip with his uncle, older brother and two pals, when he reportedly loaded the weapon and it went off.
It struck him in the left eye at speed, reports The Sun .
The impact of the steel bolt shattered the teenager’s diving mask and embedded a staggering six inches into his head, police say.
Those on board the hired boat raced back to the beach to get help, with lifeguards then alerting paramedics in the resort of Sperlonga.
Devon, from Essex, received emergency first aid for his horrific injury.
Incredibly, he was conscious and able to talk to paramedics and the police.
The teenager, who lives in Chelmsford, was airlifted 100 miles to a hospital in Rome where he underwent three-hour surgery to remove the bolt.
It is currently unclear whether he could lose his eye.
Police chief Salvatore Capasso said: “It’s a miracle this boy is still alive.
“It appears the bolt was damaged and did not lock properly when reloaded, so when he stood up it went off and shot through his mask and into his head.”
Harpoons are normally used for hunting and fishing. The spear can be attached to a rope and thrown or fired from a gun.
In 2013, Brazilian man shot himself through the eye with a six-inch harpoon and survived.
Bruno Coutinho was cleaning his gun when he accidentally fired it, sending the spear through his left eye and into the back of his skull.
Mr Countinho was still able to call for help and rushed to intensive care where medics performed two operations on him to remove the harpoon.
Doctors said the object came within millimetres of slicing a major artery in Mr Coutinho’s head, which would have proved fatal.
Amazingly, though, Mr Coutinho did not suffer any brain damage, but he did lose the sight in his eye.
It remains unconfirmed whether anyone will face prosecution over Devon’s injury.