Shark Pulls Woman Off Yacht by Her Finger

The Australian woman is just fine, though
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
A Tawny nurse shark   (Scott Nolan/Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – An Australian woman is feeling lucky to be alive after she was reportedly pulled into the water by a shark. According to PerthNow, Melissa Brunning was on a friend's yacht off the coast of Australia's rugged Kimberley region in late May when her group got the opportunity to feed some Tawny nurse sharks. Eager to experience the animals, which can grow up to 10 feet long, Brunning said she joined the others at the back of the boat. While everyone else was leaving fish in the water for the sharks to suck up into powerful, tooth-lined jaws, Brunning said she made the mistake of trying to feed one of the creatures by hand. Using the suction it would typically reserve for forcing prey out of holes on the sea floor, the shark sucked up Brunning's finger.

In the shock of the moment, Brunning then found herself pulled into the water. As SkyNews notes, coastal waters in the region are also home to saltwater crocodiles, vicious predators that can grow to 20 feet or more. Lucky for Brunning, the shark was frightened away and she was able to crawl back up to the safety of the boat. While she initially believed she'd lost an entire finger, the shark's many teeth managed to leave behind only some minor wounds. Instead of letting the incident send her back home to Perth with a bad taste in her own mouth, Brunning said her encounter with the inside of a shark's mouth left her with a newfound respect for wildlife and at least one extremely unique vacation memory. (When a shark came, this surfer remembered a trick.)

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