Laguna Beach Instagram model recovering after shark bite in the Bahamas

Ms Zarutskie has permanent scarring from the attack. Source Tom BatesMore

Ms Zarutskie has permanent scarring from the attack. Source Tom BatesMore

The Exuma islands in the Bahamas are famous for their white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and endless photograph opportunities.

Katarina Zarutskie, a nursing student in Miami with almost 28,000 Instagram followers and her own blog, was enjoying a trip to the Bahamas last month when she made a decision to swim with a group of nurse sharks.

Katarina Zarutskie, 19, was vacationing in the Bahamas with her boyfriend and his family, when she chose to take advantage of getting an epic Instagram pic.

But there were warning signs around the picturesque spot where the shark attack took place.

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. "Next thing I knew I was underwater and adrenaline just kicks in", she said. "I've seen countless photos of people with them on Instagram".

The fish have become a local tourist attraction, encircling the local docks and featuring in thousands of tagged photographs online.

"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.

Katarina Zarutskie was bitten by a shark in the Bahamas, in an attack that her boyfriend's father caught on camera.


Luckily, she managed to free herself and swam up to some steps to get out of the water - holding her arm so that the blood would not attract other sharks.

She received hundreds of comments after the ordeal, with many people praising her reaction.

"I think if someone was screaming and flailing around it definitely could have changed the situation".

Thankfully she was okay and just had to get stitches and antibiotics for her injuries, though she does still have some fragments of teeth left in the wounds. Despite her scars, the model said she has an even greater respect for nature.

She is upset at the way she has been stereotyped and accused of being social-media obsessed and careless.

"It was a very scary experience", she recalls.

As for Katarina, she know that the sharks didn't do anything wrong. "Normally when they mistake a hand or fingers for a piece of food".

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