For most of us, surviving a shark bite would be a life-altering experience. But for Valerie Taylor, it’s just another day in the ocean. Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, the pioneering Australian underwater diver and photographer revealed that she’s been bitten by multiple sharks during the course of her decades-long career, which is chronicled in Sally Aitken’s new documentary, Playing With Sharks, premiering July 23 on Disney+.
“I’ve been bitten four times, only once badly,” Taylor says matter-of-factly. “And always, I stayed still and waited for the shark to let go.”
The bad bite in question happened in the Bahamas, where Taylor and her husband, Ron — who dived alongside her until his death in 2012 — were swimming with bull sharks. “I was walking up to my chest in water, because we could see a lot of bull sharks,” recalls Taylor, who celebrated her 85th birthday last November. “We were in shallow water, so I just had my mask and snorkel and sneakers and took a breath and went underneath.