How to Avoid Shark Attacks
The International Shark Attack File and eHow have a few pointers of enjoying the beach without worrying about sharks.
- Swim, dive or surf with other people — never alone. Your chances of being attacked by a shark are less; and in the unlikely event that you are attacked, there will be people in the water to help get you to shore and treat your wounds until paramedics arrive.
- Don't swim, dive or surf where dangerous sharks are known to congregate. This can be difficult if you see lonely barreling waves beckoning you to enter, but some sharks seem to be territorial and will hang around or frequent the same hunting ground.
- Avoid swimming between sandbars, near steep drop-offs, near channels or at river mouths where sharks are found. Unfortunately, some of the best breaks are in these very spots. They also provide an ideal feeding ground for our toothy friends, however, sharks take advantage of the plentiful supply of fish coming and going with the tides, and getting the most from the nutrient-rich water.
- Don't swim or surf in dirty or turbid water. It may be torturous if a great swell rolls in, but during those few days after a heavy rain, surface runoff stretches out several hundred yards into the ocean--like a cloud of chocolate milk pushing its way into blue water. Sharks take advantage of the low visibility in their hunting; and, as most attacks on humans are a case of mistaken identity, odds are greater that such an attack occur in the murky water.
- Avoid wearing shiny jewelry that might simulate the scales of a prey fish, and also avoid uneven tanning and contrasting, bright-colored clothing. Apparently, sharks see this contrast very well and may strike out at it, or at a flash of light reflected by sparkly jewelry.
- Don't swim or surf at dawn, dusk or at night. Most sharks are crepuscular hunters, which means they are most active when the sun is low in the sky--whether it be rising or setting. Some species also hunt at night. In general, avoid the water at these times when sharks might move closer to shore to feed.
- Refrain from excessive splashing. Although this may seem next to impossible while surfing, if there is a shark in the area: try your best to paddle as though you're calm--even if you're not--slowly and smoothly towards shore. Get out of the water immediately
- Keep pets and domestic animals, with their erratic movements, out of the water.
- Don't swim near people who are fishing or spear-fishing, or near sewage outfalls.
- Avoid spreading blood or human wastes in the water.
- If schooling fish start to behave erratically or congregate in large numbers, leave the area.
- Be vigilant. You may encounter any number of hazards when diving, surfing, or swimming in the ocean or coastal rivers, and you should always be wary. Proceed with caution in whatever you do, and be aware of your environment. If you spot a shark, don't let it out of your sight until you're safely on shore or in the boat.
Video via Conjuminando