By MICHAEL HAVIS FOR MAILONLINE
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.
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.
‘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.