The Exuma islands within the Bahamas are current for their white sandy beaches, crystal determined waters and heaps of photo opportunities.
So when mannequin Katarina Zarutskie visited alongside with her boyfriend and his family final month, she used to be fervent to carry out the quite loads of the beautiful sights.
After a family lunch in an dwelling identified as Staniel Cay, Katarina spotted folks snorkelling and interacting with a pack of nurse sharks inner attain.
Despite peril from her boyfriend’s family, she used to be fervent to bag into the waters to bag some photos with them.
‘Child of the Sea’
The 19-year-veteran is resulting from delivery up a double-stage in nursing and industry in Miami, and is never any stranger to the ocean, having grown up doing water sports actions in her native California.
“From my outdated files from surfing and scuba diving, I know nurse sharks are continuously very honorable,” she tells the BBC. “I’ve seen limitless photos of oldsters with them on Instagram.”
The fish have turn out to be a local vacationer enchantment, encircling the local docks and that contains in 1000’s of tagged photos online.
She says that after just a few minutes posing, a local resident on the pier inspired her to lie again and bolt alongside with the circulate within the water.
“At this point folks were starting up to take photos and proper as I lay again, after about a seconds, I used to be pulled below,” she says.
Her boyfriend’s father used to be photographing Katarina on the time, and by chance caught the total incident in a assortment of photos.
[Warning: some images below are graphic]
The shark held her underwater for several seconds earlier than she managed to inch her wrist from its grip.
The photos notify her instinctively holding the damage and raising her arm up so to stay the blood spreading by the water.
“At that time your body has so essential adrenaline going and you just must bag out of the place, but I stayed extraordinarily aloof,” she says.
“I deem if someone used to be screaming and flailing around it positively would possibly maybe also have modified the place.”
Katarina had to bag stitches and antibiotics for her accidents, and silent has some fragments of enamel left within the damage.
The bite will bolt away a execrable scar, however the mannequin says she feels blessed that the place used to be no longer a ways worse.
Since her story used to be featured in US media, Katarina has been inundated with 1000’s of most modern followers and comments online, including a barrage of negativity from online trolls.
‘Slow Instagram Mannequin’
She is upset on the methodology she has been stereotyped and accused of being social-media obsessed and careless. The mannequin did now not even arrangement to add the photos to her social media page till she used to be approached by journalists about her abilities earlier this week.
Katarina also rejects accusations she skipped over local advice or went into the water correct by feeding time.
“They took the knowledge they necessary and in actual fact spun the story in a methodology that I am a slow blonde Instagram mannequin,” she says.
“I’ve positively obtained heaps of gross and hateful comments from folks that were asserting ridiculous things.”
“However or no longer it is the net correct? I wager you know or no longer it would possibly maybe well maybe be important to take it with a grain of salt and it comes with the territory.”
She does no longer desire the abilities or photos to keep off others from visiting the dwelling or interacting with local natural world when out of the country, and describes the Exumas because the “most sharp voice” she has ever visited.
“I am no longer anxious of the ocean and if anything I appreciate and discover it irresistible more,” she says.
“He did now not indicate it: he’s a wild animal, and I deem someone that goes and swims with nurse sharks must realise it’s an uncontrollable place.
“You can no longer even predict how but any other human is going to react to conditions, let on my own an animal. I positively will be thinking twice but it completely is no longer going to be scaring me away!”