Laguna beach native and Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie is no stranger to the sea.
But on a recent trip to the Bahamas, she fell victim to a nurse shark who bit her arm and dragged her underwater while she was trying to get a picture. According to NBC , 19-year-old Zarutskie was on vacation with her boyfriend’s family in Staniel Cay when a 5-foot-long shark found her wrist and took a bite. Her boyfriend’s dad got the entire situation on camera, continuing to take photos as she quickly exited the water.
She told NBC, “He had my wrist in his mouth and I could feel his teeth sinking into my arm. I was pulled underwater for a few seconds and then ripped my wrist out of the shark’s mouth as fast as I could.”
Zarutskie went for a solo swim after hearing locals say it was safe. Having grown up off the coast of Southern California and being an avid surfer, she was used to spending time in the water. She told BuzzFeed News that she kept her cool after the bite, lifting her arm out of the water so as not to attract any more sharks with the blood. She also acknowledged that the sharks did nothing wrong since she was in their home and she is “very, very blessed and fortunate” that the bite wasn’t worse.
Zarutskie got the wound treated in Staniel Cay but flew to Florida the next day to be sure it didn’t get infected. Although she may have a scar, she’s grateful to be alive.