Instagram model bitten by shark in the Bahamas: 'Next thing I knew I was underwater'

Katarina Zarutskie was swimming in the Bahamas when bitten on the wrist.

July 11, 2018, 11:17 AM

An opportunity to "connect with nature" turned into a frightening shark-biting incident for an Instagram model.

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

PHOTO: Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie stands alongside nurse sharks in the Bahamas.
Instagram model Katarina Zarutskie stands alongside nurse sharks in the Bahamas.
Tom Bates

"A lot of locals that were just excited, and encouraging me to swim with them," Zarutskie, 19, said in an interview that aired Wednesday on "Good Morning America.” "I saw it as an opportunity for me, another chance to connect with nature."

PHOTO: Katarina Zarutskie went swimming with nurse sharks in the Bahamas.
Katarina Zarutskie went swimming with nurse sharks in the Bahamas.
Tom Bates

Instead, it turned into one of the scariest moments of her life when Zarutskie floated on her back in the water and one of the sharks bit her wrist.

“When he bit me, supposedly it sounded like a big vacuum seal sort of sound," she recalled. "Next thing I knew I was underwater and I felt this."

PHOTO: Katarina Zarutskie was bitten on the wrist by a nurse shark in the Bahamas.
Katarina Zarutskie was bitten on the wrist by a nurse shark in the Bahamas.
Tom Bates

Zarutskie said she immediately headed for the stairs to get out of the water, holding her bloody arm above her head to keep it out of the water.

"Adrenaline was kicking in and I just knew I needed to get out of the water," she said, leery of riling up the sharks with blood in the water.

PHOTO: Katarina Zarutskie holds her arm above her head after being bitten by a nurse shark in the Bahamas.
Katarina Zarutskie holds her arm above her head after being bitten by a nurse shark in the Bahamas.
Tom Bates

Zarutskie, a Southern California native, said doctors told her it could have been much worse. She was left with only a scar on her wrist.

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

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