Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Avoiding Shark Attacks

Some teenager was in the news this morning, after surviving a shark attack (she got away by hitting it with her boogie board), so AP news helpfully provided some links to remind us all of your basic shark attack avoidance tips. Let's review.

I just hope these tips don't interfere with my exercise regimen. I like to get up bright and early--or else wait until dusk--then take a refreshing ocean swim while clutching a dead trout in each hand, wearing my flourescent yellow striped bathing suit, strands of rhinestones around my neck, and a bleeding head wound. I find that this form of exercise really clears my mind:

Shark Avoidance Tips

Don't carry dead fish when swimming or diving.

Don't swim at night, early in the morning, or early in the evening. These are the times when sharks are hunting.

Stay out of murky water.

Don't wear contrasting colors or flashing objects.

Avoid wading or swimming in offshore sloughs or channels, such as might occur between sandbars, and in waters that drop off steeply to greater depths.

Never molest a shark of any kind, regardless of size.

If you spot a shark:

Stay calm, as sudden movements may attract a shark.

Swim calmly and rhythmically back to land or boat.

Keep the shark in sight, particularly if you are swimming underwater. In most shark attacks, the victim didn't see the shark. Sharks seem to shy away from people who look directly at them.

If all else fails, try to look prepared to fight back.

Always swim in a group. Sharks most often attack lone individuals.

Don't wander too far from shore. Doing so isolates you and places you away from assistance.

Don't enter the water if bleeding. Sharks can smell and taste blood, and trace it back to its source.

Don't wear shiny jewelry. The reflected light looks like shining fish scales.

Don't go into waters containing sewage. Sewage attracts bait fishes, which in turn attract sharks.

Avoid waters being fished and those with lots of bait fishes. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such activities.

Don't enter the water if sharks are present. Leave immediately if sharks are seen.

Avoid an uneven tan and brightly colored clothing. Sharks see contrast particularly well, so use extra caution when waters are cloudy.
Don't splash a lot. Also, keep pets out of the water. Erratic movements can attract sharks.

Use care near sandbars or steep drop-offs. These are favorite hangouts for sharks.

Don't relax just because porpoises are nearby. Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks. Both often eat the same foods.

Don't try to touch a shark if you see one!

If attacked by a shark, the general rule is "Do whatever it takes to get away!"


  1. Heh heh! Good thing we don't live near the beach, so there's one less thing for me to worry about.

  2. That's just what the sharks WANT you to think.

  3. In the news story, the teenager said she read an article that told her that if you hit the shark on the nose if will go away....

    What if the shark was just coming to smell you.... What if you hit him in the nose, and he said 'Oh no.... I just came over here to smell you, and then you hit me in the nose. I wasn't going to eat you, but then you embarrassed me in front of my shark friends over there.... That really hurt! You're lunch now!'