NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) -- A Ridgefield family is making waves after a video of their 5-year-old daughter swimming with sharks went viral.
Ridgefield's 5-year-old Anaia Barnes, an instructor and her parents swam alongside the sharks while on a family vacation in the Bahamas.
"At no point did I feel like this is dangerous, like going on a rollercoaster, I'm probably not going to fall off, but it's still scary," said Anaia's mother, Elana Barnes, told Good Morning America.
"To each his own, but I would prefer to keep my kids out of the water with sharks if I can," said Kristen Vesey of Brookfield.
News 8 spoke with experts at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk to talk about how safe or dangerous this scenario really was. [ Click here to read more facts about sharks ]
"Would I intentionally do that? I honestly don't know, I'd probably be a little bit more cautious myself," said John Lenzycki, who has worked with sharks for 24 years.
He says last year there were less than 100 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide and says 90 percent of them happen in three feet of water or less. What concerns him are the sharks are being fed by people, so he says the animals associate people with food.
"I wouldn't want to be that person standing in the lagoon at 11 o'clock in the morning and that particular person called in sick that day," he said.
Also, the Barnes swam alongside Nurse sharks, which Lenzycki says are very mild tempered. While lemon and reef sharks are higher on the predatory scale.
"But still sharks are not mindless eating machines, they tend to be extremely cautious about what they eat," he said.
Still the nurse shark touch tank at the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium is close enough for this mom.
"It's a situation where you don't know what could happen so, why put them in harms way," Vesey said.
"Life is too short to be boring you know," Barnes said.
"After reviewing the video with our fish and invertebrate team, we feel that it would be too speculative to comment on the safety of the situation," said Mystic Aquarium spokesperson Erin Merz.
The following is a statement Barnes made in regards to the families choice to let Anaia swim with sharks:
"We always take safety very seriously in our family. Anaia knows not to get near a bike without a helmet, she was rear-facing in her car seat until age 3. At a very early age she knew not to approach a dog without asking it's owner. We teach her to respect all the creatures we share this planet with. Not all sharks are created equally, they vary as much as canines do. If someone is concerned about this, they can do the same research we did before booking this trip. I also would like to point out that at no time was Anaia more than five feet away from us, or closer than 20 feet from the sharks."
One person was killed after a two-vehicle crash involving a school, that happened in Stonington this morning.
A silver alert has been issued for an endangered runaway from Farmington.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A youngster critically wounded in a shooting, volunteer advocates and elected officials are kicking off an "acts of kindness" week in Connecticut to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
Freezing drizzle and below freezing temperatures made for a slow and dangerous Monday morning commute for many around the state.
Town leaders in Newtown are pleading with the nation's news media to 'please leave us alone' as the one year anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook approaches.
Relatives say three women shot to death in Connecticut in a suspected murder-suicide were a 28-year-old mother of a toddler and her two cousins.
A Bristol man was arrested after allegedly shooting another man in the face in New Britain last Wednesday.
A school and the town of Pomfret are helping congregants of a church heavily damaged by fire.
A former colleague of a Yale University professor who died in police custody is organizing a protest, calling it a "political death."
The president of Poland is urging Connecticut officials to not impose the death penalty on a former Trumbull man convicted of murder in the deaths of a Bridgeport woman, her 9-year-old daughter and a Milford man.