Surviving a shark encounter

By Stef Zisovska
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Surviving a shark encounter

Stef Zisovska
 
Great white shark
Great white shark
 
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As we get closer to the summer, more and more swimmers from all over the country are planning their vacations and heading into the water for relaxing, fun and fitness.

Getting bitten by a shark is not a very common thing, we attack them a lot more than they attack us. But still, when it happens it’s terrifying and feels like you’re in a horror movie. In the famous Spielberg movie Jaws, it looks like sharks are roaming the sea and looking for humans to eat and especially the relatives of the local sheriff. In real life, things are different and sharks will only attack if they feel threatened or you look like an animal to them, in other words, if it thinks your food it will eat you.

 

Shark
Shark

Sharks rarely attack people but if it happens the best way to defend yourself is to strike back. It sounds crazy but punching the shark’s nose or hurting its eye is the only way that will distract it and give you time to swim to safety. When punched in the face, the shark gets confused for a moment or two and realizes that you are not weak prey that will go down easy.

 

Shark
Shark

On dry land, the number of shark attack sounds like a joke, but it’s not funny at all when you’re struggling around in murky waters and have no idea what just happened. Fighting against a shark sounds impossible, and sadly sometimes it is. But there are many accounts of people who have survived a shark attack thanks to these skills.

Don’t play dead! The shark will think its lunch is served and will eat you right away. In case you get bitten and start bleeding try to escape as far as possible because they are very good at smelling blood over long distances and there’ll be more joining the fist.

Most of the experts say to go for the shark’s nose but being underwater this is not a simple thing. Shark’s most sensitive parts are the eyes and the gills. If you manage to hurt one of them you have a chance to survive.

 

great white shark Photo Credit
great white shark Photo Credit

 

If a shark is zigzagging try to find a reef that will protect your back. The shark needs an angle to strike, so in reducing the angles, you reduce the chances of being eaten. A Shark approaching you is not a good sign. It might sound ridiculous, but try to stay calm and quiet, there’s a chance you won’t be noticed. If you see a dorsal fin on the horizon start swimming fast towards the shore and let other swimmers know there is a shark nearby.

 

Great white Photo Credit
Great white Photo Credit

 

If you are a dog owner keep your furry pal safe and don’t let it stay in the water for too long.  For sharks, the smell of blood is like a freshly cooked pizza smell for us, so if you are menstruating just stay on the beach.

 

shark Photo Credit
shark Photo Credit

 

Another way to stay safe is to check other animals behavior. If fishes and turtles start moving chaotically, there might be a shark around. Trust the sea creatures to have seen the toothy beast before you. Avoid swimming at night, particularly around harbors or rocky underwater cliffs. If you do, don’t be surprised when finding yourself face to face with a shark.

 

Upper teeth Photo Credit
Upper teeth Photo Credit

 

The most dangerous among all sharks are the great white, the bull shark and tiger shark. Hammerhead shark will probably not bite you but will freak you out. Sharks can see bright colors so skip wearing orange and yellow.

In the end, if you don’t want to meet a shark don’t go where they hang out. Before planning your vacation contact local people and tourist agencies and ask if there have been shark attacks or sightings nearby.

Always be careful and stay safe. Though it’s worth remembering that being attacked by this majestic beast happens very rare.

 

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