If a huge Great White Shark goes on full-on attack, we’re sorry to say there may not be much you can do. However, most shark attacks are not fatal, and there are many things you can do to help prevent a bad outcome.
And remember, although this is the stuff of nightmares, you only have a one in 11.5 million chance of being attacked by a shark. Make that zero chance if you don’t step foot in the ocean.
Here are ten tips to survive a shark attack:
- Avoid river mouths, where there is poor visibility owing to silt in the water. Bull sharks especially enjoy these spots for feeding.
- If you are desperate to take a dip in the sea, make sure you don’t dive in near fishing boats, which may be attracting sharks by dropping fish guts and dead fish overboard. Plus fish caught on a line will struggle and emit intriguing smells to sharks.
- Try not to look like food. Shark attacks are often cases of mistaken identity. Wearing a dark wetsuit might make you look like a plump seal, so keep that in mind, especially between dawn and dusk, when the light is poorer and a shark might be hunting. Sharks also like yellow and white, so perhaps don’t dress in those colours. And there is evidence sharks attack tattoos – because they notice the contrast of the design against the skin.
- Sharks are attracted to blood and even urine, so don’t enter the water with a cut, or relieve yourself while splashing about.
- If you see a shark, it’s likely to raise your pulse a little. But don’t panic – splashing and screaming will only excite the shark.
- Keep eye contact because sharks tend to attack by ambush, so keep your head turned towards it.
- If a shark looks like it will attack, make yourself big to gain more respect. If it looks like it might be happy to just swim by, make yourself small so as not to arouse its interest.
- If it goes horribly wrong and you are atttacked, do everything you can to fight the shark off – punch it, kick, hit it in a weak spot like the gills.
- Divers by a reef should put their back on the reef to reduce the lines of attack.
- If you are close to the shoreline, and not under full-on attack, slowly back away, keeping an eye on the shark. Do not swim as fast as possible, yelling.
So there you have our handy ten methods to survive a shark attack. Now it really is safe to go back in the water.