A shark grabbed an Australian woman’s finger and dragged her into the water while she hand-fed it fish from a yacht on the country’s northwestern coast.
A video shows Melissa Brunning standing on the edge of a yacht feeding fish to some tawny nurse sharks and one of them sinking its teeth into her finger and pulling her overboard.
Brunning let out a scream as she plunged into the water without warning.
“It happened so quickly. All I could really focus on was the fact that my finger is gone. He’d clamped on it, and it felt like it was shredding off the bone,” she told 7 News Australia.
The 34-year-old was on vacation at Dugong Bay—a remote area brimming with saltwater crocodiles and sharks—when the attack occurred.
Tawny sharks are usually peaceful creatures but will bite when they feel threatened. Brunning said she felt multiple sharp teeth dig into the bone of her finger and thought the shark bit her finger off during the attack.
“I came up and I said, ‘I’ve lost my finger’ and I couldn’t even look at my finger because I thought it was gone, and I thought if I looked at it I’d probably go into shock,” Brunning recalled.
Brunning’s friends quickly reassured her that she did not lose her finger, but it was severely injured, the West Australian reported.
Brunning continued with her two-week vacation but found out she suffered a torn ligament and fracture in her finger upon returning to her home in Perth. Her finger had been so badly infected that doctors had to perform surgery to clear out the infection.
She warned others to be careful and not hand-feed sharks.
“Just be mindful of your surroundings and don’t feed sharks,” Brunning said.