The boy was participating in a “Walking with the Sharks” excursion at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort on 15 January when a shark suddenly bit his leg and the water in the tank turned red from the blood, according to new video footage obtained by TMZ.
“Did that just bite him?” the boy’s mother can be heard asking on the video, before she screams: “Oh my gosh, that’s my son! Call 911!”
An excursion that promises 30 minutes of fun for children aged 10 and up with sharks for $110 quickly turned into a nightmare as the boy was suddenly pulled into the water by his leg.
Witnesses told TMZ the boy climbed into the tank with the staff and that two of the reef sharks were aggressively swimming around the boy when one of them darted through his legs, causing the child to lose his footing and straddle the shark.
The shark then turned around toward the boy and bit into his right leg, which began profusely bleeding in the tank.
As the boy frantically swam to the surface with his injured leg, the sharks continued to swim back and forth around him.
His parents plucked him from the water and rushed him to a nearby hospital, where according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, is currently in a “stable condition”.
The shark tank expedition page is no longer available on the resort website, but a tourist page linked to Blue Adventures lists the adventure as available for guests aged 10 and older.
As part of the excursion, guests wear special helmets and oxygen tanks to breathe underwater so they can get close and personal with nurse and reef sharks.
In a statement, Blue Adventures, the organizers of the event said: “We have begun a thorough internal investigation and are fully cooperating with the authorities.”
“Incidents like this involving interactions with marine life, even with the species of sharks included in this experience, are rare and never acceptable.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sharks have been known to attack humans when they are confused or curious.
“If a shark sees a human splashing in the water, it may try to investigate, leading to an accidental attack.”
The attack comes as the US embassy in the Bahamas issued a warning against traveling to the island nation after 18 people were murdered in January alone, some of which occurred in broad daylight.
The department also reminded Americans not to swim alone in the Bahamas, where there have been recent shark attacks.
In December, a female tourist from Boston was killed by a shark while paddleboarding less than a mile off the western end of New Providence island, where the capital, Nassau, is located, the Associated Press reported.
At least 33 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1580, with the island ranking ninth worldwide, according to the International Shark Attack File.