Watch How Close This Woman Came To Becoming A Shark’s Meal

Written by Kirstin Opal
Published: July 10, 2022
Image Credit Willyam Bradberry/
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Key West is a tiny island bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean’s deep and shallow seas. It has the world’s third-biggest barrier reef, as well as a flourishing marine life that provides spectacular snorkeling opportunities. 

Because the ocean is a shark’s natural environment, it can be discovered in Key West’s seas. But, before you dash back to shore, humming the Jaws theme tune in your head, take a moment to observe what one couple went through in 2011.

Enjoying their time in the refreshing water, a couple relaxes on a boat just four miles off the coast of Key West. With crystal clear water and skies to match, it looked like a beautiful day to spend in the ocean

A woman named Heidi says, “The water’s beautiful,” as we hear a man behind the camera laughing. She continues to swim around until a few seconds later, the man calmly asks her to get in the boat. 

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She quickly starts swimming towards him and asks if he’s being serious. One comment on the now-viral video states, “Mad respect for the guy recording, not freaking out and telling her to swim back was probably the best thing for the both of them.”

It’s thought that if he had said there was a shark or appeared frightened at all, Heidi could’ve reacted very differently. The video slows down to allow viewers to see just how close Heidi was to being a shark’s lunch that afternoon. 

While it’s a little hard to tell what shark was interested in this couple, it appears to be a nurse shark. The nocturnal, docile nurse shark is the most prevalent shark in Key West. You have a decent chance of seeing one of these sharks sleeping on the bottom beneath a coral ledge if you go snorkeling or diving.

Once Heidi is safely back in the boat, she looks over the edge to see several sharks circling around. Nurse sharks are normally non-aggressive and will flee if confronted. Unprompted strikes on swimmers and divers have been documented, though. They can bite with a strong, vice-like grasp that can cause catastrophic harm if disturbed.

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs, 14-year-old dog, or her cat Spirit, Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.