Shark Week arrived a little too early for one woman who came dangerously close to living out her own Jaws scenario while doing an impromptu photo shoot in the ocean.
According to BBC News, Katarina Zarutskie, 19, a model who boasts more than 10k followers on Instagram, was vacationing with her boyfriend and his family in the Bahamas. After observing people nearby engaging with nurse sharks, she decided to get in the water to get a scenic shot with the predators, despite her boyfriend’s family warning her not to.
“From my previous knowledge from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are usually very safe. I’ve seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram,” she explained to the BBC.
However, after posing for photos for a few minutes, a local resident suggested she lie on her back in the water, which would give off the illusion that she was floating among the sharks. Shortly after, she was bitten by a nurse shark and pulled under. The horrific moments were captured by her boyfriend’s father.
While Zarutskie survived, she didn’t leave the waters unscathed — she had a nasty bite above her wrist that required stitches and antibiotics.
Despite her horrific ordeal, the future nursing student doesn’t want her experience to deter anybody else. “I’m not afraid of the ocean and if anything I respect and love it more. [The shark] didn’t mean it: he’s a wild animal, and I think anyone that goes and swims with nurse sharks needs to realize it is an uncontrollable situation,” she told the BBC.
“You can’t even predict how another human is going to react to situations, let alone an animal,” she continued, before adding, “I definitely will be thinking twice but it won’t be scaring me away.”