Woman tries to feed shark, gets dragged

Melissa Brunning gets treatment for her injured finger

A woman was pulled from a boat when a shark she was hand-feeding bit her finger and dragged her overboard.

A 34-year-old Australian woman was bitten by a tawny shark she was feeding and was dragged underwater.

Although she was quickly pulled back on board by her companions, Brunning initially thought that she'd lost her finger in the attack.

Brunning told the West Australian that she didn't realize she shouldn't hand feed a shark, until the animal became "like a Hoover", sucking her right index finger into its mouth full of rows of razor-sharp teeth. "It clamped on it and it felt like it was shredding off the bone".

Brunning continued with her two-week vacation but found out she suffered a torn ligament and fracture in her finger upon returning to her home in Perth.

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"I think the shark was in shock as much as I was. the only way I can describe it is this vast pressure and it felt like it was shredding it off the bone", the 34-year-old structural draftsperson said.

The girl wanted to feed from the small boats of a species rusty sharks. "I couldn't even look at the finger because I thought if I looked at it and saw it was gone, I'd probably go into shock".

Tawny sharks are usually peaceful creatures but will bite when they feel threatened. Her finger had been so badly infected that doctors had to perform surgery to clear out the infection.

She said: "It's not the shark's fault at all, but it could have been a lot worse".

Her message: Don't feed the sharks. "I'm not a shark victim ..." I have full respect for sharks, I think they're incredible. When you are in the water, they are top of the food chain, it is their domain.

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