Snorkeller mauled by shark in wild scenes caught on camera

Incredibly, after inspecting the wound the woman decided to keep swimming with the predators.

A woman has been mauled by a shark while snorkelling with the animals in the Maldives, with the shocking incident captured on camera.

The video was recorded by freediver and underwater photographer Ibrahim Shafeeg, 37, from the Maldives who videoed his friend, 30-year-old nurse Carmen Canovas Cervello, as she swam in the clear water surrounded by sharks.

Ibrahim and Canovas went diving in the shark bay at Vaavu Atoll in the Maldives, where they came across around ten nurse sharks swimming freely around them.

A nurse shark bites Carmen Canovas Cervello on the shoulder and back as she snorkels in the Maldives
Carmen Canovas Cervello was bitten on the shoulder by a nurse shark while snorkelling in the Maldives. Source: Media Drum World/Australscope

Both adventurers were only in snorkelling gear and swam freely with the three-metre wide sharks for over 45-minutes before disaster struck.

One shark, estimated to weigh as much as 100kg, decided that they were too close for comfort and showed their dominance by biting Canovas on her shoulder and upper back.

Even though it was only for a brief moment, the determined creature left a sizable mark of around six-inches in diameter on the diver’s body.

Ibrahim captured the shocking attack unexpectedly while filming the sharks around him using a GoPro Hero 9.

The bite happened so quickly that both Ibrahim and Canovas jumped out of the water to check what damage had been done to Canovas’ shoulder and back by the bite-happy creature.

Once out of the body of water near the Dhiggiri resort in Vaavu Atoll, the pair cleaned the wound while examining how severe it was.

The daredevil pair felt as though the wound was given by the sharks as a warning for getting too close, as they believed the bite as only a minor injury that could have easily been a lot worse.

Amazingly within seconds, the unfazed pair decided they would dive right back into the shark infested waters once again to resume their diving experience.

Canovas didn’t feel as though she needed to seek any medical help or treatment, so the pair decided to continue snorkelling and diving with the sharks for days, leaving the bite to heal for itself.

Nurse sharks are common in the Vaavu Atoll region of the Maldives, as it is a common place for the sharks to seek food from the different tourist attractions surrounding the area.

Carmen Canovas Cervello's back and shoulder showing wounds from a shark bite.
Despite her grizzly injuries, the snorkeller decided to jump back in the water and continue swimming with the sharks. Source: Media Drum World/Australscope

Nurse sharks are usually non-aggressive and have been known to swim away when approached, but if they are provoked in any way, their bite can be life-threatening due to their extremely sharp teeth and strong jaw.

Although the nurse shark is portrayed as one of the non-aggressive sharks, according to reports before 2022, there were around 51 provoked and five unprovoked attacks from nurse sharks.

This was the first time Canovas had received a shark bite, but that hasn’t stopped the pair from diving head-first into the dangerous waters once again to experience being so up-close and personal with the sharks in their natural habitat.

“We were in the shark bay at Vaavu Atoll diving with nurse sharks,” he said.

“We decided to do a free dive trip to shark bay and snorkel inside a group of sharks there.

“There were around ten nurse sharks, from 198-pounds to 220-pounds and over three-metres wide.

“After the shark bite, we thought nothing major about it as it was only a minor injury so we cleaned the wound and continued snorkelling at the same spot again.”

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