Shark bites Instagram model during Bahamas photo shoot

Ismael LynchJul 12, 2018

While in the Staniel Cay area in the Exuma islands last month, Katarina Zarutskie made a decision to go swimming with a pack of nurse sharks. She told the BBC that a "local resident" who was watching the photo session from the pier encouraged her to float on her back.

A photo she shared on Instagram showed the bite in action. Alright, so that might not quite be a universal experience, but it is, at the very least, one had by the highly unfortunate 19-year-old Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie.

Seconds later, Zarutskie discovered why swimming with sharks on goal can be a unsafe idea. Zarutskie then swam to shore as her arm bled.

The model chose to keep calm despite having just been set upon, and raised her arm from the water so the blood wouldn't attract more sharks.

Her boyfriend's father happened to photograph the entire incident; see his photos here. Tourist site Exuma Online says nurse sharks are typically "harmless to humans" and that swimming with them is a regular tourist activity in the Bahamas' Exuma district. Zarutskie, who grew up near the ocean in California, spotted a pack of nurse sharks in the water and, knowing they're generally docile, chose to get in the water with them to take a photo.

Katarina Zarutskie holds her arm above her head after being bitten by a nurse shark in the Bahamas.

She did not swim with the sharks through a tour company or any organization that required payment, but, having grown up as a surfer in Southern California, she said she was not afraid to jump in the water near a marina. "I've seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram". "At that point, your body has so much adrenaline going and you just have to get out of the situation, but I stayed extremely calm". She had to get several stitches and was put on a round of antibiotics.

'They are wild animals and it's an uncontrollable situation'.

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