TIPS: How to Reduce Shark Attack Risk and Stay Safe in the Ocean

By @Len_IBTimes on

A third person has recently been killed by a shark off Australia's west coast, raising fears among swimmers, especially in Cottlesloe and Dunsborough beaches. The three fatal attacks happened within 2 months, alerting officials, who are now hunting the killer white sharks.

While one can never tell when a shark would be around to attack, the general advice given by experts is to avoid the shark's feeding schedule, which is at dusk, dawn, and night time hours. It is best to stay on the beach during these windows of time, says the National Parks Conservation Association's Avoiding Shark Attack website.

Shark Attacks are Usually Fatal Mistakes

Diver Gary Adkison has said 90 per cent or more of shark incidents are actually shark errors. The sharks, which attack by instinct, assume that humans underwater were something else. In most of the attacks, the shark bites the victim, hangs on to it for a few seconds, and then lets go, presumably after realizing that the human body was not its food. However, considering the anatomy of a shark, its mistakes have been fatal in many unfortunate situations, as in the recent case in Cottlesloe, where an American man who went diving alone, surfaced with definitive shark bites in his dead body.

Less than a Hundred Shark Attacks Per Year

The Shark Info website says there are less than a hundred shark attacks in the world each year, in contrast to about 15 billion people surfing, bathing and swimming in the same period. The three fatalities in Western Australia the past three months is a very rare occurrence in shark attack statistics.

Another general tip when it comes to avoiding shark attacks is to swim in groups. In the three cases, too, the swimmers were caught alone underwater.

More Tips to Avoid Shark Attacks

It is popularly known that sharks are attracted to blood. That is why swimmers should stay out of the open ocean waters when menstruating or injured with open wounds.

When swimming, it is best to swim calmly instead of making noisy splashes. One could attract sharks by making movements that sharks could interpret to be those of injured fish or underwater life.

Be vigilant. Ask around for shark sightings, tips and updates in the area before making a decision to swim away from the shore.

The Florida Museum of National History's website also tells swimmers to take off jewelries when swimming, as it may look like fish scales in the eyes of sharks.

Finally, wear dark wetsuits. Bright colors will attract sharks, so it is best to swim in dark swimsuits. 

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