CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida college student and Instagram user is sharing her story weeks after she was bitten by a shark while vacationing in the Bahamas.
When asked to describe the entire ordeal, 19-year-old Katarina Zarutskie had one word in mind.
“It’s been interesting,” she said.
Speaking with 7News on Tuesday, Zarutskie showed the wrist injury she suffered when a nurse shark bit down on it earlier this summer.
“I’ve been on so many different medications,” she said.
The University of Miami nursing student and aspiring model went into shark-infested waters willingly during her trip to the Bahamas with her boyfriend and his family.
Seconds later, Zarutskie discovered why swimming with sharks on purpose can be a dangerous idea.
Her boyfriend’s father snapped photos capturing the moment a nurse shark clamped down on her left arm.
The student conceded that she had been advised against going to the water alongside the marine predators prior to the incident.
“Against my boyfriend’s wishes and his parents wishes. They were just screaming at me not to do it,” she said.
When asked why she went ahead anyway, she replied, “It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Zarutskie went even further.
“I don’t regret it, and I would do it again to bring awareness,” she said.
Raised in Laguna Beach, California, Zarutskie said she grew up surfing and enjoying the beach.
But there were warning signs around the picturesque spot where the shark attack took place.
Still, she said, locals encouraged her to lay back and enjoy floating next to the sharks — despite the sharp teeth being mere feet from her.
When asked whether she went into the water because the post would generate a lot of hits on Instagram and increase her number of followers, Zarutskie replied “no.”
After she was bitten, she held her arms up out of the water to keep her blood from attracting more sharks. She got out of the water with just the wrist injury.
Looking back on the day’s events, Zarutskie is grateful her injury was not more severe.
“We went to a church on the island after, like, everything was OK, and we prayed, because everything is OK, and I am so blessed,” she said.
Zarutskie’s ordeal isn’t over quite yet. Doctors believe there may still be fragments of shark teeth lodged inside her wrist.
You can view Zarutskie’s photos below:
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