Summer’s almost over but sharks can pop out at any time, especially if you’re someone who spends a lot of time on the ocean, like a surfer or diver. While death by shark attack is not all that common, there has been a recent surge of sightings and attacks along the west coast and on certain areas of South Florida, so it always pays to be prepared and informed. This recent increase in the shark population can be explained by the federal rules and guidelines that are trying to protect the species, which is a really good thing if only a little scary.
We all want to avoid a painful shark induced injury or death, so here are a few simple rules you should follow if you want to avoid a bite by a large and scary fish. Yikes:
Avoid swimming alone, at dusk, at night or at areas where there are a lot of fish around. Sharks like to go after isolated prey, so be sure to be with someone who can get help and keep you company. Sharks have also notoriously bad eyesight, and when it’s dark out they might think your leg is a seal or a really large fish. Stay away from areas where you see a lot of fish swimming around, because these are usually the prime spots where sharks find their meals.
What To Do If You See A Shark
Here’s when things get complicated. You can’t act like food around the shark, so swimming away in a panic is not an option. You also can’t treat it like a simple animal, trying to corner or shoo it. Keep your distance from the shark and maintain eye contact. This sounds weird, but if the shark starts to circle you, you should circle it back from a safe distance. This will let the shark know that you’re not harmless like the fish he normally eats. You’re also no match for a shark, so try to escape slowly, moving backwards and never taking your eyes off of it.
What To Do If A Shark Bites You
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Try not to panic. Most sharks will bite and release you, and most of their bites are minor and not lethal. Try to strike the shark on its gills and nose so that he leaves you alone, and get to safety as soon as possible. Having a swimming buddy in this instance could save your life.