They say you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you, but a 34-year-old woman from Perth, Australia learned the hard way that the rules apparently don’t apply to sharks.
On May 30, Melissa Brunning was on vacation off the northwestern coast of Australia in Dugong Bay, a remote spot known for its sharks and saltwater crocodiles.
She was hand-feeding a group of two-metre tawny nurse sharks from a yacht, when one of them latched onto her finger and yanked her into the water.
“It happened so quickly,” she told local channel 7 News.
“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.”
The horrifying moment, all caught on video, shows Brunning screaming as she was dragged overboard before the boat’s crew and friends quickly pulled her back up.
Miraculously, she escaped relatively unscathed with all 10 fingers intact, but suffered a minor fracture and a torn ligament.
“I came up 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 said.
Brunning told local media she was wrong to try to feed the sharks, and said the experience has taught her to “respect marine life.”