Michael Downer, a British citizen, went on holiday to the Bahamas with his family, his eight-year-old son, nine- and twelve-year-old daughters. However, the family’s carefree tropical vacation turns into a nightmare when the boy walks into the midst of nurse sharks that swim in very shallow water and are considered harmless.
What was supposed to be a harmless adventure turned into a horror
Michael Downer spent his summer vacation in the Bahamas with his three children, eight-year-old Finley, nine-year-old Lily and twelve-year-old Emily. The head of the family paid for a cruise that covered five islands, one of the special attractions being a guided swim with nurse sharks in the very shallow waters near the beach. The calm, slow-moving common nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma ceratum), and swimming with them is one of the popular activities organized by local tour guides.
On their way to Compass Cay, they noticed nurse sharks swimming among bathers in a nearby island lagoon. At the request of the children, the head of the family decided to join the group.
The children waded into the shallow water, and then something unexpected happened.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Michael Downer recalled the terrifying moments: “Suddenly I heard a terrible scream and saw dozens of sharks circling Finley.
There was a lot of blood and pieces were hanging from his legs.” According to the family head, the boy screamed, “Dad, I don’t want to die, Dad, I don’t want to go. Heaven!” Finally, the boy was dragged by the hand by his 9-year-old sister Lily.
Finley’s leg was mauled by three frenzied nurse sharks at once, causing a severe, severed wound to the boy’s limb.
After primary treatment, the injured child was airlifted to the capital NASA, where he underwent a three-hour operation.
The family later cut short their ill-fated holiday and headed home, and Finley is currently recuperating at their home in England.
Nurse sharks, which are considered peaceful, can also cause very serious injuries
This case is a good example of how even harmless and peaceful shark species can become dangerous under certain circumstances, as it turned out, the organizers fed the predators and drowned them in shallow water, which became aggressive due to bait and bait. People gathered around them. The so-called “feeding frenzy” is characteristic of most carnivorous shark species, regardless of size and prey.
Therefore, although sharks are an otherwise peaceful species, it is very reckless to swim excitedly by bait thrown into the water. In the order of carpet sharks (Orectolopiformes) is a medium-large species, with adult individuals ranging from 3.1 to 3.5 m in total body length, but specimens up to 4.5 m in length are known.
The jaws of the nurse shark have eight rows of small, but very sharp and pointed teeth.
Nurse sharks are opportunistic predators that feed primarily on small fish, rays, and invertebrates including crustaceans and molluscs. They are typically solitary nocturnal animals that forage near the seabed at night, but often congregate in large groups in coastal waters during the day.
Nurse sharks can generate an intense suction force with their mouths, which is considered the strongest among aquatic vertebrates. Although the nurse shark usually behaves calmly towards humans, due to its body size and strong bite, it belongs to the dangerous shark species, which is supported by a recent incident with a tragic but fortunate outcome.