Travel

10-year-old Maryland boy attacked by shark in Bahamas while on ‘Shark Tank’ expedition

A shark bit a 10-year-old Maryland boy who was on vacation in the Bahamas on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

The attack unfolded at about 4 p.m. ET on Paradise Island as the boy was “participating in an expedition in a Shark Tank at a local resort,” the Royal Bahamas Police Force said in statement.

He was taken to the hospital and listed as stable.

Police Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings told NBC News on Tuesday that she couldn’t explain what protections were in place at the “Shark Tank” expedition.

“I’m a police officer on the island, and I have never been over to the aquarium that they’re referring to. As for how it’s set up, you’ll have to speak to personnel at the resort,” said Skippings, who declined to name the resort.

The Atlantis Paradise Island appears to offer a snorkeling program in which patrons can get “alongside sleek sharks, spotted rays, and brilliantly colored tropical fish in this underwater setting.”

Michael and Tori Massie told NBC News they were in the tank at Atlantis Paradise Island when the boy was bitten; they were taking part in an underwater encounter called “Walking with the Sharks,” run by an outside company. It was described on the resort’s website as “easy and fun” allowing visitors to “see Caribbean reef sharks and nurse sharks up close,” but the experience appears to have been removed from the site since the incident.

At first, the Massies said the experience — led by guides — was serene and peaceful. “Once the little boy came down, it just kind of took a dark turn,” Tori Massie said. “We saw the sharks hone in on him and then just like a pool of blood afterwards.”

NBC News reached out to Atlantis Paradise Island and Blue Adventures by Stuart Cove, the company that runs the shark tank experience, and has not heard back.

A spokesperson for the State Department says they are aware of the incident and “stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”

The couple, who is now back home, said they signed a waiver and knew there were risks going into the tank but believe more should have been done to protect everyone involved.

“They failed this child and this family,” Michael Massie said.

This comes on the heels of another shark attack in the Bahamas that killed a 44-year-old woman from Boston who was paddle-boarding off the coast last month.

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