Shark pulls woman overboard by biting finger in Australia

2018-07-02 13:03
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A woman who was pulled into crocodile-infested waters in northwestern Australia when a shark bit her finger as she attempted to feed it has described the terrifying moment which nearly cost her a digit.

Melissa Brunning said she was on a yacht in the remote Kimberley region some 2 500km north of Perth when she tried to hand-feed up to four Tawny nurse sharks hanging around the back of the boat.

The 2m creature – which has strong jaws and rows of sharp teeth – sucked at her right index finger "like a Hoover (vacuum cleaner)", she told The West Australian late on Saturday.

"I think the shark was in shock as much as I was... the only way I can describe it is this immense pressure and it felt like it was shredding it off the bone," the 34-year-old said.

"I came up and I was like, 'I've lost my finger, my finger's gone'."

Respect marine life

Mobile phone footage of the incident at Dugong Bay in late May, aired by commercial broadcaster Channel Seven on Saturday, showed Brunning screaming as she was dragged into the water before the boat's crew and friends quickly pulled her out.

She sustained cuts, a fracture, a torn ligament and a bad infection on her finger as a result of the encounter, but miraculously did not lose the digit.

"It's not the shark's fault at all, but it could have been a lot worse," Brunning said, adding that she had learnt to "respect marine life, and look at it in awe, but just leave them alone".

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.

"This is not a shark attack, this is just a blonde doing a stupid thing.... When you're in the water, they're top of the food chain, it's their domain. We're not meant to be in the water, if we were we'd have gills," she added.

Apart from sharks, saltwater crocodiles – which can grow up to 7m long and weigh more than a tonne – are also found at the bay.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    australia  |  marine life
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.