Even though her boyfriend's family was nervous for her, Zarutskie made a decision to try it herself.
The 19-year-old from California was on vacation with her boyfriend and his family when she heard that swimming with nurse sharks was a fun and safe activity. The group passed an area in the ocean where several nurse sharks were swarming, and since it was promoted that swimming with these creatures was a safe and normal activity in the area, Katarina chose to hop in and get some photos (Note: a warning sign by the pool of sharks clearly stated that the animals "can and do bite" on occasion).
The owner of Staniel Cay marina told NBC that the sharks are quite docile, but "can and do bite", especially if they mistake hands or fingers for a bit of tasty, tasty food. She said the shark clamped down on her wrist and pulled her under.
"Against my boyfriend's wishes and his parents wishes". Thinking in a much clearer fashion than I imagine I would after having been BITTEN BY A DAMN SHARK, she swam to some nearby steps, keeping her arm out of the water so as not to attract more sharks with the blood.
Despite the scary experience, Zarutskie told Fox News she still loves the wildlife and sharks and hopes to bring awareness to the animals. She did, but within moments, a shark bit her arm.
"[Doctors] now believe that I still have pieces of the shark teeth in my arm", she revealed.
Zarutskie told NBC that she was pulled under briefly when the reportedly five-foot shark made a decision to take a chomp on her arm then she "ripped [her] wrist out of the shark's mouth as fast as I could". She went to the hospital to get treatment for her infected wounds.
Looking back on the day's events, Zarutskie is grateful her injury was not more severe.