19-year old Katarina Zarutskie took photos for her Instagram account while floating at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club in the Bahamas. The student and Instagram model from Laguna Beach, CA had seen others wading with the nurse sharks in the ocean, but one bit her, dragging her underwater.
“I just felt this huge… it almost felt like fifteen different people were holding onto my arm, really, really hard,” Zarutskie said.
She says the shark released her quickly, so she was able to cover the bite on her left arm and get to shore. She went to the hospital to get treatment for her infected wounds.
“I have all my fingers, I have my wrists, and I’m just so blessed it was a minor accident,” she said.
The owner of the marina says others have been bitten there, and there are warning signs posted.
Zarutskie says she did not see them. The owner says the docile shark was likely drawn to her dangling fingers.
“Pretty sure that shark thought it was just another scrap from the fish bench that was floating enticingly in front of them,” he said.
Zarutskie says she respects all wildlife and is grateful her injuries were not worse.
“What happened was an accident and I don’t want to throw the shark under the bus,” she said. “He’s a wild animal and I’m human and I was in his domain.”