Tips On How To Survive A Shark Attack
It is quite normal for people to fear wading into the ocean because of the shark attacks sensationalized in the news. What the majority of people may not realize is it has to do with the shark’s ‘snack of choice.’
For a shark, a person swimming looks to them more like a sea lion. Make enough motion to catch their attention and you find yourself taste-tested by a fish with sharp teeth. Here are a couple of tips to help increase your likelihood of surviving a shark attack:
1. Don’t Play Dead
This has to be one of the worst things any person can do when a shark is swimming nearby even. If the shark’s already come in for one nibble, staying still will just make the creature think you are its next meal.
If it draws blood then it means trouble. They can smell a single drop of blood from a mile away, so get moving before more show up.
2. Get Their Nose (?)
Anyone who has researched any shark might have come across this idea. It is known to marine biologists that there exist many nerve endings at the tip of a shark’s nose. Theoretically, it is possible to strike a shark in the nose hard enough to deter them from continuing their attack. From what I’ve seen in TV specials, a lead pipe works best even with a gentle tap to a curious shark.
It’ll certainly be a struggle to hit the target if you are in motion, though.
3. Maybe The Eyes
Sharks have the ability to sense electrical impulses through special receptors in their face. But their eyes help give their brain a shape to perceive when there isn’t enough light to see.
Like many creatures, the shark’s eyes are its most vulnerable part. Do not hesitate to go for the eyes when the opportunity presents itself. Wounding the creature’s eyes will certainly increase your chances of survival.
4. Prepare While It Circles
Sharks will observe their choice of target by circling a few times. But this gives you the signal that it is coming in for an attack. If you’ve got a metal pipe as mentioned above, you might fare better when the thing is close enough to bite.
If at all possible, remain calm so you can make as direct a hit as possible.
5. When It Zigs, You Zag
Sharks will sometimes move in a zig-zag pattern, searching for possible openings from the side or behind you. Find something to place your back against, reducing the creature’s chances for a successful strike from anywhere but in front.
Do not make the mistake of going out into the ocean alone. Always have at least one other person with you.
6. Silence is Golden
Sometimes you might be too far from shore to get there safely. So if you can, control your breathing and remain as quiet and ‘frozen’ as possible. Some sharks like to play with their food, and one that does not move might make them less interested.
7. Tell Anyone Who Is Close
It is certainly important to stay quiet when out in the water by yourself. But if you notice an odd-looking dorsal fin in the water at a crowded beach, make sure to tell anyone else in the vicinity.
A large amount of motion in the water might cause the shark to be indecisive, possibly allowing everyone to get out of the water safely.
8. Don’t Invite The Dog Into The Big Blue
If you are inclined to take your dog to your beach outings, ensure that fido keeps all four paws on the beach. If a human swimming is already enough to catch a shark’s attention, one can only imagine how quickly a shark would take notice of a dog wading through water.
That’s not to say you should never put your dog in the water. If you are still going to do it, allow it for only five to ten minutes at a time to keep them safe.
9. Ask The ‘Locals’
Dedicated to go on an expeditionary tour of a local reef? Pay attention to the behavior of the surrounding creatures. If something seems off with them, scan your environment for any possible nearby predators.
At the smallest sign of erratic behavior, get yourself and everyone else in the water back onto the boat.
10. The Usual Suspects
You do not have to fear every species of shark in the ocean, but make sure to avoid these if you aren’t an adrenaline junkie: the majestic great white, the aptly named tiger shark, and the bull shark.
Hammerheads are odd-looking creatures but are far less inclined to bite unless they feel threatened.