Everyone has that one thing they are freakishly scared of, right? Well one of those for me is sharks. I don’t think a moment goes by when I am in the ocean that I am not hypersensitive of my surroundings, constantly scanning the water for the beasts. I feel like this is a reasonable fear, if I were to get in a fight with a shark, and “win” I will still probably lose an arm, right? Ooooo I get the chills thinking about it.
Anyway, the three most common sharks responsible for attacks are…
Tiger sharks which can grow up to 8-13′ long and up to 1,400lbs, nbd. Surprisingly, these sharks are found both in deep sea water up to 2,400′ deep in, along with shallow coastline waters.
The bull shark is on average 7-8′ long and 285lbs, seems less insane, but plot twist, they are known as the most dangerous sharks in the world. Bull sharks are often found in shallow waters hunting where humans most commonly swim. They have even been known to swim upstream into freshwater rivers. Their kidneys have some storage mechanism that allows them to store enough salt to be found in freshwater.
The third most common is the king of the sea, the big kahuna, the HELL NAWWWWW of sharks, the great white, you know, like, JAWS. The Great White is on average 15-20′ weighing 2.5 tons, or greater.
I recommend, if any of these sharks are sighted in the water you stay clear. If you do happen to see a shark while you’re swimming REMAIN CALM (at least on the outside). if you flail around like a lunatic you will be seen as injured to the shark provoking an attack. You’re supposed to stay as still as possible, or if you do swim away, swim as gracefully as possible without splashing.
Recognizing a sharks body language: Slow and steady, usually doesn’t signify a threat. When a shark is seen charging, swimming zig-zagged, is pointing pectoral fins downward, lifting their head upwards, these are all signals of an attack. Leave the water quickly, but smoothly.
If sharks are common where you are swimming or diving, swim in groups, a shark is less likely to approach a group. Bring a spear pole as a method of self defense, this does not mean be a hero, or give you a false sense of hulk like strength because honestly, you’re probably not the hulk, but it could save your life if a shark does try to attack you. Aim for the eye/nose, this will buy you some time.
From what I have been reading there are conflicting views on whether of not you’re safe if you’re swimming with or around dolphins. Dolphins tend to swim in large pods and sharks often hunt alone. Therefore, a pod of dolphins have the numbers to fight off a shark if it did try to attack. However, if you are swimming with dolphins and they start behaving erratically, take this as a serious sign to exit the water.
Avoid swimming in waters that are cloudy, or murky, as well as steep drop offs, as these are known to be a sharks hunting ground. Sharks hunting typically occurs at dawn, dusk and at night, so avoid the water at those times.
Cover, or avoid wearing shiny jewelry, or anything with high contrast in the water. Additionally, don’t get into the water if you are actively bleeding. Sharks are able to smell blood in very small concentrations. An article, for you women concerned about swimming when aunt flo comes for a visit.
Realistically, the odds of you being attacked by a shark are 1:3.7 million, which are decent, but its good to be aware of your surroundings and know how to respond if you are face to face with a shark.