Shark pulls woman overboard in Australia

Melissa Brunning gets treatment for her injured finger

Melissa Brunning gets treatment for her injured finger

An Australian woman is feeling lucky to be alive after she was reportedly pulled into the water by a shark.

The woman, Melissa Brunning, was feeding a small group of nurse sharks in Australia with others by her side when one shark dragged her in as she screamed.

Although she was quickly pulled back on board by her companions, Brunning initially thought that she'd lost her finger in the attack.

"It's not the shark's fault at all, but it could have been a lot worse", Brunning said adding it was completely her fault.

Brunning said she did not realise that she should have left the piece of fish in front of her and watch the shark suck it up, instead of trying to hand-feed it.

The shark which measured 6.6 ft (just over 2m) sucked her right index finger into its mouth, full of razor-sharp teeth.


"He'd clamped on it, and it felt like it was shredding off the bone", she told 7 News Australia. The finger was also badly infected, The West Australian reported, and Brunning had to undergo surgery to flush out the infection.

As it was only day three of her dream two-week holiday in remote WA, Ms Brunning chose to carry on, hoping her finger would heal by itself. Her injuries include a fracture, a torn ligament and cuts, according to Sky News. "I couldn't even look at the finger because I thought if I looked at it and saw it was gone, I'd probably go into shock".

And it's not just foreign tourists who need to be mindful.

"I'm not a shark victim, I have full respect for sharks, I think they're incredible".

She is still taking antibiotics after having surgery to fix her broken finger and said she has learnt to 'respect marine life and look at it in awe but just leave them alone'.

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