Woman tries to feed shark, gets dragged

Tuesday, 03 Jul, 2018

A woman on a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip to Australia's Kimberley region was pulled into the water by a shark she was trying to feed but somehow survived with her life - and her finger - intact.

According to CNN's affiliate 7 News in Australia, Melissa Brunning of Perth was on vacation in a remote area called Dugong Bay when it happened.

To make matters worse, the bay in which she was cruising on a friend's superyacht was also crocodile-infested. She was last of her friends to feed the sharks and did not realize that she was supposed to place the piece of fish in front of the shark and not hand feed it.

With a suction "like a Hoover", the shark sucked Ms Brunning's right index finger into its mouth full of rows of razor sharp teeth. "He'd clamped on it and it felt like it was shredding off the bone", she said.

"I think the shark was in shock as much as I was", Brunning told The West Australian. The shark almost bit her finger off, leaving her with a torn ligament and a bad infection, but doctors managed to save it.

"I've come up and I'm like, I lost my finger".

The sharks will bite and act defensive if they are stepped on, or bothered by divers who assume they're docile.

"(It was) completely my fault", Brunning told the West Australian.

Don't feed sharks. And be mindful of your surroundings. 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", she added.

She is still taking antibiotics after having surgery to fix her broken finger and said she has learnt to 'respect marine life and look at it in awe but just leave them alone'.

"I'm not a shark victim", Brunning said.