A 10-year-old boy was recently attacked by a shark during a marine wildlife encounter at the Atlantis Bahamas Resort. The incident occurred during the resort’s “Walking with Sharks” program, a 30-minute experience designed for children aged 10 and up, which allows participants to interact with nurse and reef sharks for a fee of $110.
The boy was in the shark tank when one of the sharks swam between his legs, causing him to straddle the creature. The shark then bit into the boy’s right calf. The incident was captured on video, which shows the boy quickly surfacing and being assisted to safety by his father, who had jumped into the shark-filled tank to rescue his son.
Despite the boy’s injury, the sharks continued to swim around him, even as his blood began to cloud the water. Onlookers watched in disbelief, with one guest heard exclaiming, “There’s a little kid in there!” The severity of the situation became apparent when the boy’s mother, upon realizing what had happened, screamed for someone to call 911.
The boy’s parents quickly carried him out of the water and rushed him to a nearby hospital. He was found to be in stable condition. Prior to the incident, the boy had been walking near the shark tank with a chaperone as part of the resort’s shark encounter experience.
The boy, who was visiting from Maryland, was one of several participants in the tank. Each participant wore a large white helmet, an oxygen tank, and flippers. It remains unclear why the sharks targeted the boy and the full extent of his injuries is not yet known.
Following the incident, the Atlantis Bahamas Resort and Blue Adventures, the organizers of the excursion, promptly closed the tanks. The resort, where room rates start at around $250 per night, had previously described the “Walking with Sharks” experience as “easy and fun.” The shark tank expedition page has since been removed from the resort’s website.
Blue Adventures has stated that they have begun a thorough internal investigation and are fully cooperating with authorities. They emphasized that such incidents are rare and unacceptable. This incident comes on the heels of a travel advisory issued by the US embassy in the Bahamas, warning against travel to the island nation following the murders of 18 tourists.