Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Dec 05, 2023

8-year-old boy bitten by sharks in The Bahamas

8-year-old boy bitten by sharks in The Bahamas

An outing in The Bahamas almost ended in tragedy for one British family after their 8-year-old son was bitten by three nurse sharks.
According to the UK Daily Mail, Finley Downer, his siblings and his father Michael went on an excursion to the protected harbour Compass Cay when the horrific attack happened.

Mr Downer, who witnessed the incident that occurred at Staniel Cay, explained the family was led to believe that the sharks were harmless.

“The tour guide joked to us that whoever didn't have their photo taken with the sharks on the water wouldn't be allowed back in the boat.

'The water was crystal clear and me and my kids got in, swimming with the sharks and striking them, with lots of others too. The guide said not to be scared and they wouldn't bite, their teeth was so small, and to be more afraid of the pigs!”

He said the sharks’ behaviour changed after locals began throwing scraps of food, including lobster, into the water in an effort to get them closer to the children.

“I heard terrified screaming. The sharks were in a feeding frenzy and were circulating around Finley and Lilly with their tails thrashing. They were trying to beat them off with their hands then Finley was bitten by three on both legs,” he said.

“There was so much blood. Bits of his leg were hanging off. Finlay kept saying, 'Dad I don't want to die.' He was hysterical.”

Luckily for Findley, one of the tourists was a nurse who was able to assist him before he was taken to a local clinic. Mr Downer then had to shell out £2,000 for a private plane to take Findley to Nassau where he underwent a three-hour operation.

Finley is now back at his home in Weldon recovering from the affair.

He told the Daily Mail that swimming with sharks isn’t something he plans to do in the future.

“I'll never go in the water with sharks again, I'll just watch,” he said.

Mr Downer told the Daily Mail that he does not blame the tour company or his children for the attack, even though he later found out that the area was where model Katarina Zarytskie was bitten by sharks in 2018.

He said: “It was a very unfortunate accident. We were led to believe the sharks weren't dangerous but any animal can suddenly turn and bite, even a dog. It's no one's fault. I'm happy to be seen as a bad parent who lets my kids do an excursion which I understood was safe.”

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