Diver attacked by rare shark survives but needs 58 stitches

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

A veteran diver was left needing an incredible 58 stitches after surviving being attacked by a rare shark.

The 8ft-long oceanic blue shark bloodied Mark Rackley while he was diving off Sugarloaf Key in Florida, USA, on April 13.

Mark Rackley was left needing an incredible 58 stitches after surviving being attacked by a rare shark

Mark Rackley was left needing an incredible 58 stitches after surviving being attacked by a rare shark

Mark, a seasoned underwater videographer of 25 years, knew the shark was in the area and given its rarity in The Keys decided to head out to film the fish.

But with the shark out of its comfort zone and in shallow waters, Mark, who takes full responsibility for his injuries, revealed the shark was agitated.

After 15 minutes of shooting images – one just before the attack – he swam over the fish and felt a ‘tug’ on his arm before realising a split second later he had been bitten.

Mark, who takes full responsibility for his injuries, revealed the shark was agitated

Mark, who takes full responsibility for his injuries, revealed the shark was agitated

The shark clamped on to Mark’s shoulder and bicep but despite the deep bite it missed his major tissues and arteries.

Mark, 48, was able to leave the shallow waters and take an ambulance to Lower Keys Medical Center where he passed out.

He said: “I came into its space – it felt like a grab and a tug and it seemed to numb right away, it happened in the blink of an eye.

“I’d swam over her and provoked the shark – I was in her zone.

He said: "I'd swam over her and provoked the shark - I was in her zone."

He said: “I’d swam over her and provoked the shark – I was in her zone.”

“The real pain came when I was on the way to the hospital.

“When people see sharks they should not be scared of them – they should observe.

“I want to educate the public. They are just incredible animals.”