A woman was left with severe injuries after she was dragged into crocodile-infested waters by a shark that she was feeding during a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip abroad. Melissa Brunning, 34, was on a yacht feeding several sharks when the situation took a turn for the worse and she was dragged, screaming, into the waters by one of the predatory fish. The vessel was in a remote Kimberley region in the northwest of Australia about 1,500 miles north of Perth when the incident occurred.
In what may be the greatest “duh” moment of all time Melissa has admitted that she didn’t realise she wasn’t meant to hand feed the sharks, but was instead meant to the throw the food into the water where they could take it peacefully.
It was as the shark was taking food from Melissa’s hands that the shark’s mouth became “like a vacuum” and sucked her hand and arm into the creature’s mouth. She was then dragged, kicking and screaming, into the waters where 23-feet-long crocodiles—weighing over a ton—make their home.
“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,” she told the press. “I came up and I was like, ‘I’ve lost my finger, my finger’s gone.’”
Video has captured the terrifying moment a Perth woman was dragged into the water by a shark. Melissa Brunning was hand-feeding a group of "tawney nurse sharks" in WA's far north when one latched on and almost took off her finger. #7News pic.twitter.com/K5YC1UhHlB— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) July 1, 2018
The sharks in question aren’t man-eaters. They grow to around 14-foot in length and are bottom-dwelling predators that pose no real threat to humans. They are known to bite people who make a habit of bothering them, or who unknowingly step on them, but otherwise there’s no real cause for concern. It’s likely that the shark in question had no intention of taking Melissa’s arm with it, but that the whole thing was simply an accident.
Thankfully Brunning kept her finger, although she did suffer from cuts, a fracture, a torn ligament and a bad infection from the bite.
“It’s not the shark’s fault at all, but it could have been a lot worse,” she said about her experience. “I’m not a shark victim… I have full respect for sharks, I think they’re incredible. I’ve always had the opinion that when you’re in the water, they’re top of the food chain, it’s their domain.”
Fair play, we’d like to give Melissa credit for admitting to her mistake and having a sense of humour about the whole affair. A lot of people might find it more than a bit embarrassing to admit to.