This is the shocking moment a shark turned on an eight-year-old boy and took a bite out of his back.
Asher Jones was swimming with nurse sharks as part of an organised excursion off Exuma Cays in the Bahamas when one of the predators attacked.
The boy’s father, Jeremy, saw the shark move towards the youngster and pulled it off Asher’s back.
Though the nurse shark is generally considered not dangerous to humans, it can still bite and its grip is so tight that in some cases surgical instruments have been needed to remove it.
At first the youngster thought the attack was just his dad mucking around in the water.
But then Asher, who lives in Sandy in Utah, USA, hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, realised what was happening and thought he was going to die.
Asher Jones was left with a huge bite mark on his back after the shark attack in Exuma Cays in the Bahamas
He said: ‘It was horrifying. At first I thought it was my dad pretending, but then I was like “no, my dad would not try to hurt me” because it was digging into my freaking flesh.’
‘It was the most scary thing in my entire life.’
Luckily for Asher, there were a couple of medics visiting at the same time, who cleaned his wound and told him he would not need stitches.
Mum Christine said she heard her son’s scream as the shark sank its teeth into his back.
The 42-year-old said: ‘I heard Asher scream – and not just any scream, the kind of scream that makes a mum’s world go into slow motion.
‘Just thinking about his scream makes me feel sick and makes my heart rate go up.
‘My husband, Jeremy, not only heard Asher scream, but saw the shark go after him and quickly sprung into action, grabbing the shark.
Asher (far left) was swimming with the ‘docile’ non -aggressive fish when the nurse shark sank its teeth into his back
The youngster was screaming in pain as his dad, Jeremy, rushed to pull the shark off his back
Luckily for Asher, there were a couple of medics visiting at the same time, who cleaned his wound and told him he would not need stitches
Christine said the shark’s upper jaw locked onto her son along the spine of his scapula
‘The shark then released and swam away.’
Christine said Asher had a lucky escape as he could have been dragged under the water if her husband had not pulled the shark off his back so quickly.
She added: ‘Asher was very lucky. The shark’s upper jaw got him along the spine of his scapula.
‘I think this, along with Jeremy quickly pulling the shark off, prevented it from really latching on and the bite from going deeper – or worse, taking Asher under the water.
‘It could easily have pulled Asher under where there would have been five other sharks, chum, people panicking and a bleeding little boy.
‘This could have been a recipe for disaster and serious injury.’
Christine said the family were told the sharks were not aggressive that they were so docile beach-goers could even pet and stroke them.
She added: ‘We were told that nurse sharks are docile and non-aggressive scavenger fish, and if you want to pet them make sure you only touch the top of their heads and backs.
‘We were told they may suck on you and to keep the children’s hands out of the water.
Asher with his mum Christine, with dad Jeremy and sister Avery, from Utah, USA, were visiting Exuma Cays in the Bahamas when the attack took place
Asher, who lives in land-locked Utah, initially believed the attack was a prank by his dad until he realised what was happening and thought was ‘going to die’. Pictured on holiday (left) and and with mum Christine (right)
‘At one point I said to my husband ‘it sounds like we are getting in the water with puppies, not sharks, so, we let our kids get in.
‘I understand that nurse sharks are wild animals and that wild animal interactions are difficult to predict.
‘However, after doing some research about nurse sharks and the risks of interaction, I would not now allow my children to get into the water and interact the way they did, especially with chum being thrown in.’
Though Christine had a few recurring nightmares about the incident, Asher quickly overcame his shock.
‘Once he realised he was okay, he was really amazing,’ said Christine.
‘He experienced many intense emotions in a short amount of time.
‘He started with sheer terror – he literally thought he was going to die – to extreme joy in realising he was okay and had the best story ever to tell.
‘I watched Asher stand a little taller that day’.
Asher says he would be happy to swim with sharks again in the future.