Katarina Zarutskie was vacationing on Staniel Cay, one of the islands in the tropical region, and made a decision to go swimming with nurse sharks-which are mostly harmless.
The group passed an area in the ocean where several nurse sharks were swarming, and since it was promoted that swimming with these creatures was a safe and normal activity in the area, Katarina made a decision to hop in and get some photos (Note: a warning sign by the pool of sharks clearly stated that the animals "can and do bite" on occasion).
Katarina Zarutskie was floating calmly in the ocean off the Bahamas' Staniel Cay when she suddenly felt her arm being yanked down.
The 19-year-old said the swim with the sharks wasn't organised by a tour company, and while her boyfriend's family were "freaking out" over the idea, she reassured them it was fine because she regularly surfs in California.
She's since had to make her Instagram private, after people accused her of blaming the sharks and causing the situation herself, but she insists that's not the case.
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Ms Zarutskie then swam to shore as her arm bled.
"He had my wrist in his mouth and I could feel his teeth sinking into my arm", Katarina told NBC News on Monday. She flew back to Florida the next day after learning her wound had a high risk of infection. "It was an accident and he probably thought I was food, and I am very lucky that I was able to rip my arm away from him", Katarina said.
Zarutskie knows it could have been worse. But, she added, "I am so fortunate that I still have my arm and my life".
Zarutskie did not immediately respond to a request for comment. While feeding a small group, Melissa Brunning was dragged into the water by her finger before breaking free. Doctors believe there may still be fragments of shark teen lodged inside her wrist. "All I could really focus on was the fact that my finger is gone". I don't know where to look.
When asked why she went ahead anyway, she replied, "It's just a once-in-a-lifetime experience".