Young Woman Decides to Swim with Nurse Sharks, and SURPRISE — One of Them Bites Hers

Photo of Katie JerkovichKATIE JERKOVICH, Entertainment Reporter

A young University of Miami nursing student was attacked by a shark during a recent trip to the Bahamas and has photos of the harrowing experience.

Katarina Zarutskie, 19, who is also an Instagram model from Laguna Beach, California, said she was swimming with nurse sharks near the Bahamas’ Staniel Cay when she felt something bite her arm. The next thing she knew she was “pulled underwater,” according to NBC News .


“He had my wrist in his mouth and I could feel his teeth sinking into my arm,” Zarutskie shared. “I was pulled underwater for a few seconds and then ripped my wrist out of the shark’s mouth as fast as I could.”

The girl’s boyfriend’s father captured the incident.

Zarutskie said she eventually managed to break free of the shark’s grasp, swim away and get out of the water.

“[The doctors] now believe that I still have pieces of the shark teeth in my arm and I will forever have a scar,” she explained. “I am so fortunate that I still have my arm and my life.”

In a video posted Wednesday by “Inside Edition,” she called it “a very scary experience,” sharing that she believed she “was pulled underwater for 8 seconds.”

“My boyfriend’s family was freaking out when I went to swim with the sharks and I was like, ‘it’s fine,’” she explained.

Zarutskie claimed that locals had told her that swimming with the nurse sharks was a fun, safe activity. However, she opted to skip the paid tour and decided to swim near the marina on her own.

The owner of Staniel Cay Marina told the outlet in a statement that there is a sign posted near the water that states the nurse sharks “can and do bite” and people must “swim with the sharks at your own risk.” The young woman said she never saw the sign.


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