Shark Attacks 10-Year-Old Boy at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas


In the summer of 1975, the fictional town of Amity Island experienced a rash of shark attacks as a killer fish carried out a coastal onslaught one bite at a time, in Steven Spielberg’s summer classic Jaws. Ever since, humanity has had a tenuous relationship with great whites and other sharks. They are undoubtedly apex predators, honed over millions of years of evolution to become efficient killing machines. However, the more we learn about our sharp-toothed friends, the more we realize they aren’t (usually) the unpredictable killers portrayed on the big screen. And there’s no denying they are beautiful.

That combination of fear and fascination makes them popular tourist attractions at tropical resorts and aquariums all over the world. If you’ve got the resources and the gumption, there’s nothing stopping you from a close encounter of the fishy kind, but sometimes those encounters go sideways. On Monday, January 15, a 10-year-old boy from Maryland was bitten on the right leg during a shark encounter in the Bahamas.

10-Year-Old Boy Attacked by Shark at Bahamas Resort

The incident took place just before 4:00 PM local time on Monday, according to a statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The boy was taken to the hospital for treatment and is in stable condition. The incident occurred while the victim was inside a shark tank as part of a resort experience on Paradise Island. The police did not identify the victim’s name or the resort involved, but witnesses have revealed the attack took place at the Atlantis Resort.

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Atlantis offers a wide range of animal encounters to visitors, including face time with baby sea lions, paddle boarding with dolphins, and the “Walk with Sharks” encounter, which is operated by an outside company, Blue Adventures by Stuart Cove. At the time of writing, the shark experience appears to have been removed from the Atlantis Resort website.

An unrelated couple, Michael and Tori Massie, who were also in the tank at the time of the attack said the experience began peacefully but soon turned violent. “Once the little boy came down, it just kind of took a dark turn. We saw the sharks hone in on him and then just like a pool of blood afterwards,” the Massie’s told NBC News.

It’s unclear what safety precautions were in place to protect patrons or how they failed in this instance. An investigation is underway by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Of course, things could have been worse. This incident comes just five weeks after a tourist from Boston was killed by a shark 1.2 kilometers offshore in the Bahamas.

The only truly safe shark encounter happens at the movies. Revisit Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, available from Universal Pictures.



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