Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Houston model bitten by shark while swimming in the Bahamas

Houston model bitten by shark while swimming in the Bahamas

Most of us have gone an extra mile or two to get that ideal Instagram shot.

Katarina Zarutskie, 19, was vacationing in the Bahamas with her boyfriend and his family, when she made a decision to take advantage of getting an epic Instagram pic. Her boyfriend's dad, who was photographing the whole thing, captured the moment the shark bit her and pulled her away.

Zarutskie hopes her modeling career will continue and she has not ruled out posing with sharks again.

"He had my wrist in his mouth and I could feel his teeth sinking into my arm", Katarina explained to NBC News.

"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.

When she got free of the shark's bite, she swam to some steps - holding her bleeding arm out of the water to not tempt more sharks - and got out of the ocean. She also heard from locals that swimming with the nurse sharks was safe.

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"These animals are considered quite docile but can and do bite on occasion", David Hocher, who owns the marina the incident happened in, wrote in an email to NBC.

"They took the information they wanted and really spun the story in a way that I'm a stupid blonde Instagram model", she says. Hocher added that Zarutskie appeared to have gone in the water during feeding time.

Zarutskie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When asked whether she went into the water because the the post would generate a lot of hits on Instagram and increase the number of followers, Zarutskie replied "no".

She had her boyfriend's father take photos of her in the water surrounded by them. Zaruskie said she did not see them.

Zarutskie, a 19-year-old nursing student and Instagram model from Laguna Beach, California, had been swimming with nurse sharks when one bit her arm and started to drag her under the water last month. However, the bite left her with pretty gnarly bite marks on her wrist, and it definitely looks painful. Still, at the end of the day, she said she's "fortunate that [she] still [has her] arm and [her] life".

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