Instagram model and University of Miami student Katarina Elle Zarutskie was swimming with sharks for a photo shoot in the Bahamas last month when a shark bit her arm. The incident took place at Staniel Cay and was captured in pictures by Katarina’s boyfriend’s dad.
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. However, she missed a warning sign that stated that nurse sharks “can and do bite”, reports NBC News.
Katarina decided 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. “He had my wrist in his mouth and I could feel his teeth sinking into my arm,” Katarina told NBC News on Monday. “I was pulled underwater for a few seconds and then ripped my wrist out of the shark’s mouth as fast as I could.
Luckily, she managed to free herself and swam up to some steps to get out of the water – holding her arm so that the blood would not attract other sharks.
According to reports, she went to a local clinic to get her arm wrapped and bandaged before flying back to Florida – where she studies in the University of Miami – to seek proper treatment as shark bites can be highly infectious.
“The doctors now believe that I still have pieces of the shark teeth in my arm and I will forever have a scar,” said Katarina. “I am so fortunate that I still have my arm and my life.”