How to avoid shark attacks should be the first thing to consider, remembering the fins that split the surface of the water. Not to mention black eyes and white teeth glistening beneath the surface. And smooth body glided soundlessly under the waves. This is a beachgoer’s nightmare.
But if you spend a lot of time in shark territory (i.e. the ocean), it never hurts to be told before you tie your fins. That way if you spot one of the big fish, you’ll know exactly what to do to limit the damage.
How to Avoid Shark Attacks While Scuba Diving
Shark Encounters Are Rare
For starters, all kinds of shark encounters are rare, but fatal events are especially common. Only about five people are killed by sharks worldwide each year, so there is only a 1 in 3,700,000 chance that you will be killed by a shark in your lifetime. That means you have a greater chance of dying from a fall or tear in the current than from being bitten by a shark.
How to Avoid Encounters With Sharks
Even if the chances of coming into contact with a shark in the ocean were extremely low, there had to be a way to reduce the chance even further.
For starters, we recommend that you avoid swimming or diving near places where people fish. Anglers use bait and chum, which attract large fish from the surrounding area. That, in turn, might bring in sharks wanting to eat the big fish. By the same logic, the presence of diving birds such as gannets or pelicans can also indicate that there are sharks nearby.
Avoid swimming at night, dawn, and dusk when many species hunt actively and avoid wearing jewelry when snorkeling, surfing, or other water sports because the quality of the reflection can resemble the luster of fish scales and other attributes of shark prey.
What to Do When You Meet Sharks
If the shark swims too close, kick or hit it in the face with a stick, swimming shoe, or even your fist. That’s usually enough to make the shark run in the opposite direction. Once he’s gone, get out of the water as soon as possible. He’ll be less likely to retreat during the second or third strike. Swim slowly and calmly to the nearest beach or boat. Keep an eye on the animal if it is still roaming around.
If a shark acts aggressively while you’re scuba diving, don’t panic. FOr example, it’s rushing towards you, bending its back, lowering its side fins. Or even swimming in a fast zigzagging or up-and-down motion, back off onto something sturdy like a rock or boulder. This action can reduce the number of angles from which animals can get to you. If that’s not an option, swim slowly to the surface with your dive partner until you reach the boat.
If a shark bites you he’s likely to take a risk. And doesn’t let go immediately, counter it by hitting and scratching at sensitive areas like its eyes and gills. If you have an injury of any kind, treat it like any other injury. Get out of the water, focus on first aid, stop the bleeding, and go to the hospital for more serious treatment.
The bottom line is, that you shouldn’t let your fear of sharks stop you from enjoying your vacation at sea. Swim smart, recreate responsibly and remember that you are more likely to be injured by a hotel toilet than a shark.