We shudder every time a new report comes out that someone else has been bitten – or worse — by a shark. As devastating as shark attacks are, they’re also quite rare. Oceana reports that the odds of being attacked by a shark are one in over 11 million. In fact, you have a better chance of dying from drowning or getting involved in an accident on the way to the beach. There are more reported fatalities from getting hit in the head with a coconut than there are from being bitten by a shark.
That said, no one wants to gamble that they won’t be that one out of 11 million people who come face-to-face with a shark. The good news is there are things we can do to lessen our chances.
1. Avoid swimming during early morning, early evening and nighttime hours. These are the times sharks are most active.
2. Stay out of the water if you’re bleeding. This includes bleeding from a fresh wound or if you’re menstruating. Sharks can detect blood in the water from over a mile away.
3. Keep away from fishing boats. Freshly caught fish bleed, as do live bait.
4. Don’t swim alone. Sharks are statistically less likely to attack groups of people. Also, if you’re alone and you do get attacked, you have less of a chance of getting the help you need.
5. Don’t swim in murky waters. Sharks are more likely to mistake you for their natural prey, and you’ll be less likely to see them coming.
6. Take all metallic items off before you enter the water, especially jewelry. Light-catching surfaces attract a shark’s attention.
7. Wear dark swimwear. Sharks can only distinguish between light and dark and light-colored swimwear outlines your body and makes you easier for them to see.
8. Stay out of the water if there are large groups of dolphins or seabirds present. They’re attracted to the same prey sharks are. That means if the dolphins and birds are getting a meal, sharks are likely to show up for one, too. In addition, dolphins themselves can be prey to large sharks.
9. Leave the water if you see fish and turtles behaving erratically. They may be doing so because a shark is nearby.
10. Stay away from swimming at the mouth of rivers after a heavy rainfall. The rain sweeps freshwater fish and other animals out to sea, attracting hungry sharks.
11. Try to avoid splashing excessively. Splashing imitates the sounds and movements a prey in distress makes.
As a home security company, we’re interested in you continued safety, even away from home. If you see a shark near you, remain calm. Only defend yourself if you sense an attack is unavoidable. If it is, prepare to fight back. Keep your eyes trained on him. Hit him in the nose, eyes and gills. Avoid using your bare hands and feet if possible. If you are bitten, fight aggressively. While some sharks attack twice, many won’t. Seek help immediately but remain calm and resist panicking.