Carmen Canovas Cervello’s vacation in the Maldives had gone just as planned, with a thrilling snorkeling and free diving experience at Vaavu Atoll. Until, that is, a nurse shark had the audacity to leave a lasting reminder of the day’s dangerous encounter in the form of a deep bite wound.
It all started innocently enough, when Ibrahim Shafeeg, a local “shark guy,” she had partnered up with, took to the waters without incident. But just moments later, while the nurse shark circled around his companion, it closed jaws tightly around her left shoulder blade, leaving a 6-inch-wide mark.
The veteran diver, who posted a video of the incident to Instagram captioned “accidents happen”, chose to take the incident in stride. “We believe that the shark bite was a warning as it was a small bite and the shark didn’t try to bite her again,” said Shafeeg. Understandably, Cervello chose not to seek medical attention and the fearless duo kept going with the remaining 45 minutes of their dive.
The video of the incident quickly blew up on the internet, garnering over 1.2 million views and thousands of comments from viewers around the world. It generated a range of intimidating recommendations, from avoiding open water activities to immediate medical assistance in such cases.
Scientists and experts agree that shark attacks are indeed rare and if one is lucky enough to experience one, they should take necessary safety protocols. It’s suggested that divers should never try to feed nurse sharks and be aware of the warning signs of great white shark attacks. In addition, beach advisories should always be respected.