September 25, 2022

The boy and his siblings had jumped in the water to join the sharks, not realising they were being fed

An eight-year-old boy needed a three-hour operation after being mauled by a group of nurse sharks while on holiday in the Bahamas.

Finley Downer had to be pulled to safety by his sister after being attacked by at least three sharks, and suffered flesh wounds after what his dad described as a “like scene out of Jaws.”

He was then taken to a clinic on a golf buggy.

Finley and his two siblings, Lily, 9, and Emily, 12, had decided to get into the water when they saw the sharks swimming among a crowd of people in a lagoon on the island of Compass Cay.

However, they didn’t realise that the sharks were feeding on scraps being thrown to them.

Finley’s dad Michael told the Sun: “My son could have been killed. It was like a scene out of Jaws.”

The sharks attacked the boy, biting his legs.

Downer continued: “Suddenly I heard a terrified scream and saw dozens circling Finley. There was so much blood. Bits of his leg were hanging off. He kept saying, ‘Dad I don’t want to die. Dad I don’t want to go to heaven.’”

Finley was dragged out of the water by his nine-year-old sister Lily, and was the taken to the nearest clinic on a golf buggy.

Nurse sharks are usually harmless to humans, but can lash out if disturbed (iStock)

His dad then had to pay for a £2,000 flight to take him to the capital Nassau for a three-hour operation.

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Finley and his family are now back at home in Kettering, but he is still using a wheelchair and will be left with scars.

They had been in the Bahamas on a five-island tour.

The family have voiced their fury at the tour guides who had told them that the sharks were safe.

But the tour operator, Exuma Escapes, has said that the family went to a lagoon not used on its tour, and had travelled without a guide.

Nurse sharks are slow-moving, docile bottom-dwellers that are usually harmless to humans. However, if disturbed or stepped on they can lash out and attack. Like most sharks they do have very strong jaws with thousands of teeth.

They can grow to between 7.5ft 9.75ft in size, and weigh between 200 and 330 pounds.

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