Shark bites University of Miami student in Bahamas

Christopher Davidson
July 11, 2018

The 19-year-old from California was on vacation with her boyfriend and his family when she heard that swimming with nurse sharks was a fun and safe activity.

She had her boyfriend's father take photos of her in the water surrounded by them.

A model from Houston says she loves sharks even after she was bitten by one in the Bahamas.

Hocher sent NBC News a picture of a sign at the marina that warns guests that nurse sharks "can and do bite" and that visitors must "swim with the sharks at your own risk" - but Zarutskie said she did not see the sign.

Ms Zarutskie then swam to shore as her arm bled.

Katarina chose to swim with a herd of nurse sharks at Staniel Cay - but things went wrong when a 5-foot nurse shark bit her arm and started to drag her under the water. She held her bleeding arm out of the water to avoid attracting more sharks.

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"My boyfriend's family was freaking out when I went to swim with the sharks and I was like, 'it's fine, '" she said. "I was leaning back for probably no more than 10 seconds, and this shark just grabbed my wrist".

The University of Miami student visited a local clinic following the incident, but made a decision to fly back to Florida the next day after learning shark bites carry a high risk of infection. She said doctors told her she still has pieces of shark teeth in her arm.

Zarutskie knows it could have been worse. She said she later learned that the risk of infection meant she could have lost her arm or her life.

A Perth woman was also attacked by nurse sharks last month with vision of the attack caught on camera. While feeding a small group, Melissa Brunning was dragged into the water by her finger before breaking free.

Melissa Brunning was hand-feeding a group of tawny nurse sharks on the back of a boat in Dugong Bay, in WA's far north, when one latched on and nearly took off her finger. It clamped on it and it felt like it was shredding off the bone.

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