Boy, eight, attacked by sharks in Bahamas in 'scene from Jaws' told dad: 'I don't want to die'

Eight-year-old Finley Downer was attacked by a shark while on holiday in the Bahamas with his family
Finley Downer who was attacked by a shark while on holiday in the Bahamas. Credit: Family photo

An eight-year-old boy who was attacked by sharks while swimming on holiday in the Bahamas told his dad: "I don't want to go to heaven."

In what was described by his father as "like a scene out of Jaws", Finley Downer was dragged to safety by his nine-year-old sister after he was rounded on by "at least three" nurse sharks while swimming in a lagoon last week.

He was bitten on both legs, and had to be taken to a local health clinic on a golf buggy, before undergoing a three-hour operation in the capital Nassau.

Finley's father, Michael Downer, 44, told The Sun newspaper his son "could have been killed" in the attack.

Mr Downer, who had taken his children Finley, nine-year-old Lily, and Emily, 12, on a luxury holiday, said the family had been part way through their five-island tour when the attack took place at Compass Cay.

Finley Downer with his dad and two sisters on holiday in the Bahamas Credit: Family photo

He said the children had decided to join a crowd of people in a lagoon, in which nurse sharks were swimming.

Mr Downer said he suddenly "heard a terrified scream and saw dozens (of sharks) circling Finley".

"There was so much blood. Bits of his leg were hanging off.

"He kept saying, 'Dad I don't want to die. Dad, I don't want to go to heaven'."

Finley Downer in hospital following a shark attack in the Bahamas Credit: Family photo

Finley was pulled from the water by his older sister Lily, and Mr Downer had to spend £2,000 on flights to the Bahamas capital, Nassau, for a three-hour operation on Finley's legs.

The family has now returned home to Kettering, Northamptonshire, where Finley is recovering from his injuries and using a wheelchair.

In an interview with The Sun, Mr Downer expressed his anger at being told by tour guides the sharks were safe.

Operator Exuma Escapes claimed in a statement to the newspaper that the family went unguided into a lagoon which it does not use on its tour, adding that nurse sharks are docile bottom-feeders unless they are handled incorrectly.

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