The Exuma islands within the Bahamas are well-known for his or her white sandy seashores, crystal transparent waters and never-ending alternatives.
So when model Katarina Zarutskie visited together with her boyfriend and his circle of relatives remaining month, she was once prepared to profit from the gorgeous points of interest.
After a circle of relatives lunch in a space referred to as Staniel Cay, Katarina noticed other folks snorkelling and interacting with a pack of nurse sharks within sight.
Despite worry from her boyfriend’s circle of relatives, she was once prepared to get into the waters to get some pictures with them.
‘Child of the Sea’
The 19-year-old is because of get started a double-degree in nursing and industry in Miami, and isn’t any stranger to the sea, having grown up doing water sports activities in her local California.
“From my previous knowledge from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are usually very safe,” she tells the BBC. “I’ve seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram.”
The fish have turn into a native vacationer appeal, encircling the native docks and that includes in 1000’s of tagged pictures on-line.
She says that when a couple of minutes posing, a native resident on the pier inspired her to lie again and waft within the water.
“At this point people were starting to take photos and right as I lay back, after a few seconds, I was pulled under,” she says.
Her boyfriend’s father was once photographing Katarina on the time, and unintentionally stuck the entire incident in a sequence of pictures.
[Warning: some images below are graphic]
The shark held her underwater for a number of seconds sooner than she controlled to rip her wrist from its grip.
The pictures display her instinctively masking the wound and elevating her arm up so that you can forestall the blood spreading throughout the water.
“At that point your body has so much adrenaline going and you just have to get out of the situation, but I stayed extremely calm,” she says.
“I think if someone was screaming and flailing around it definitely could have changed the situation.”
Katarina needed to get stitches and antibiotics for her accidents, and nonetheless has some fragments of tooth left within the wound.
The chunk will go away a nasty scar, however the model says she feels blessed that the placement was once no longer some distance worse.
Since her tale was once featured in US media, Katarina has been inundated with 1000’s of latest fans and feedback on-line, together with a barrage of negativity from on-line trolls.
‘Stupid Instagram Model’
She is disappointed on the method she has been stereotyped and accused of being social-media obsessed and careless. The model didn’t even plan to add the pictures to her social media web page till she was once approached by reporters about her enjoy previous this week.
Katarina additionally rejects accusations she not noted native recommendation or went into the water all the way through feeding time.
“They took the information they wanted and really spun the story in a way that I’m a stupid blonde Instagram model,” she says.
“I’ve definitely received a lot of rude and hateful comments from people that were saying ridiculous things.”
“But it’s the internet right? I guess you know you have to take it with a grain of salt and it comes with the territory.”
She does no longer need the enjoy or pictures to cast off others from visiting the realm or interacting with native natural world when in another country, and describes the Exumas because the “most beautiful place” she has ever visited.
“I’m not afraid of the ocean and if anything I respect and love it more,” she says.
“He did not imply it: he is a wild animal, and I believe any individual that is going and swims with nurse sharks wishes to grasp it’s an uncontrollable scenario.
“You cannot even are expecting how every other human goes to react to scenarios, let on my own an animal. I unquestionably will probably be pondering two times nevertheless it may not be scaring me away!”