How to Avoid a Shark Attack

DON’T BECOME CHUM

DO swim in a group. Sharks usually attack lone individuals and will rarely bother people in a group.

DON’T go in the water at night, dawn or dusk. This is not only when sharks are most active, but also when they are harder to spot.

DO stay close to the shore. Straying too far means you isolate yourself and make it harder for help to reach you.

DON’T get into the water if you have an open wound – sharks are attracted by the smell and taste of blood.

DO take off any jewelery before getting in the water, as sharks can confuse it with fish scales due to the reflected light.

DON’T go into any water being fished, because bait fishes attract sharks. Watch out for diving seabirds, which are a good indicator of fishing activity.

DO move as smoothly through the water as possible and keep away from pets. Sharks can be attracted by erratic movements.

DON’T go in the water wearing brightly colored clothing or with a very uneven tan. Sharks are very adept at spotting contrast.

DO whatever it takes to get away. George H Burgess, Director of the International Shark Attack File, says: “Some people have successfully chosen to be aggressive, others passive. Some yelled underwater, others blew bubbles. I personally would go down fighting.”

DON’T assume you are safe because porpoises are nearby. Although dolphins and porpoises have been known to attack sharks, their presence does not mean sharks will be scared off – and both often eat the same foods.

Source: Florida Museum of Natural History

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