Katarina Zarutskie was vacationing on Staniel Cay, one of the islands in the tropical region, and chose to go swimming with nurse sharks-which are mostly harmless.
An Instagram model has narrowly avoided serious injury after her forearm was bitten and dragged by a shark in the Bahamas. "I thought it was safe and I saw kids snorkeling, and against my boyfriend's family's wishes I thought it would be fine", Zarutskie said.
The photographs show her instinctively covering the wound and raising her arm up in an effort to stop the blood spreading through the water. She was swimming on Stanley Key Island, known for it's crystal clear water and normally docile nurse sharks. "I've seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram". Luckily, she's okay...but the photo of her bite is quite brutal. "I am so fortunate that I still have my arm and my life". 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. Katarina posted them to social media, where she's been overwhelmed with comments asking for details.
Zarutskie got stitches and antibiotics for the bite, and doctors believe she still has pieces of shark teeth in her arm.
When asked why she went ahead anyway, she replied, "It's just a once-in-a-lifetime experience".
Katarina also rejects accusations she ignored local advice or went into the water during feeding time.
"I'm not afraid of the ocean and if anything I respect and love it more", she says.
She does not want the experience or photographs to put off others from visiting the area or interacting with local wildlife when overseas, and describes the Exumas as the "most handsome place" she has ever visited.
An aspiring model and college student found out the hard way that swimming with sharks is not a good career move.