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    Texas Surfer on How to Survive a Shark Attack: From 1882 - 2009, Florida has experienced 13 fatal shark attacks and averaged on ...

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    Scott on How to Survive a Shark Attack: I have heard for years that the smell of ammonia (as in urine or pee, piss whate ...

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    How to Survive a Shark Attack



    In the back of a surfer's mind, as well as everyone else at the beach, is the possibility of a shark attack. Fortunately, you're more likely to be killed by a strike of lightning or a stray dog than to be attacked by a shark, but unfortunately it does occasionally happen, and it's been happening more often since the earth has been getting warmer. Of course, the best way to survive a shark attack is to avoid getting involved in one in the first place. Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe while you're in the water.

    quote1 How to Survive a Shark Attack

    Avoiding a Shark Attack

    Stay away from the mouths of rivers and channels, especially during or just after a rain. The water at these spots flows constantly, providing sharks with a steady stream of new food, so it makes sense that they would hang out there. Also, rain makes it more difficult for sharks to see because the sea bottom gets stirred up. Even if a shark doesn’t want to eat a human, it might not see you well enough to know you’re not a fish, if it’s raining or has just rained.

    Don’t swim or surf near boats. Fishermen throw bait into the water, including (sometimes) blood. They do what they can to bring sea creatures toward their boat, so you want to stay away from the boat. It follows that even if you’re not near a boat, you need to stay away from fishermen.

    If you have blood anywhere on you, don’t get in the water. This includes anything from a small bleeding scratch to menstruation. Sharks can smell and taste blood from more than a mile away and even follow it right back to its source. If the source is you, you might get bit. If you injure yourself while in the water and start to bleed, get out of the water and stay on the beach.

    Avoid anything a shark eats. This includes large groups of sea creatures, such as schools of fish, seals or even sea lions. A shark will go where it can easily grab some food; you don’t want to be around when it happens.

    If you see a dead animal in the water such as a dead fish, get away from it. Chances are they are leaking blood that could draw a shark to it.

    Always swim or surf in a group. Sharks are much more likely to attack if you’re alone in the water. Also don’t swim too far from the shore because sharks are more likely to be in deeper waters and you are also less likely to receive assistance in the event of a shark attack.

    Swim and surf during daytime hours. Sharks feed at dawn and dusk, and they can’t see very well at night. You’re more likely to get attacked if you swim at one of those times.

    Don’t wear shiny jewelry in the water because it can attract a shark’s attention.

    Don’t go into the water with bright swim wear or an uneven tan because sharks see contrasting colors really well. So if you have a farmer’s tan, spend some time on the beach first.

    Avoid splashing because splashing has been known to draw attention from sharks. If someone’s dog is going crazy splashing around in the water, get away from it.

    Be aware that sharks like to hangout around sandbars and sharp dropoffs.

    If You Get Attacked By a Shark

    • Stay calm.

    If you see a shark or get bumped by one, try not to flip out. This sounds impossible, but sharks, like horses and dogs, can sense fear. If you feel fear, this can stimulate the shark’s attack instinct, making it much more likely to attack you. Do your best to stay calm, knowing that you need to keep your wits about you to continually evaluate the situation as it develops in order to get back to shore.

    • Watch the shark.

    If the shark is near you, or if it bumps you, or if it bites you only once and you’re still alive after the bite, keep your eyes on the shark. Sharks will sometimes attack once, or bump you once, and then sneak up for another attack. Sharks can sneak up before they bump or bite you, and then attack. Keep your eyes on the shark even as you’re trying to get to shore.

    • Get in a defensive position.

    The number one thing you want to do is get back to shore, but if you’re not able to get back right away, get into a defensive position. If you have a reef, jetty, or anything solid around, get up against it so you only have to defend your front and sides. If you’re diving, you might have to go lower to find shelter from the shark. If you’re with another swimmer or diver, get back-to-back so you can each defend one side.

    • Fight!

    You can’t get away with playing dead when you’re in the middle of a shark attack. Treat it like a dog, and know that you must make it see you as too strong to beat. Use hard punches to the shark’s nose, eyes, and gills. The nose is the least sensitive of these three vulnerable spots on the shark. If the shark keeps attacking you or has a part of you in its mouth, continually punch these areas as hard as you can, and claw at its eyes and gills.

    • Use a weapon.

    If possible, use something – anything – as a weapon. If you have a spear, use it. If you have a camera, smash it into the shark. If nothing else is near, kick, punch, and elbow the shark.

    • Finally – get out of the water.

    If there is a boat (or anyone) nearby, call out to them. If the shark is attacking, you can shout it like crazy. If the shark isn’t attacking you, try to stay calm while you wait for the boat or people to come assist you. If you’re near shore, swim fast but without much splashing, as splashing will attract the shark’s attention.

    • Get help.

    Once you’re out of the water, get someone to help you who knows first aid. If no one is around, such as a lifeguard, stop any bleeding with whatever clothing you have, even making a tourniquet if necessary. Get yourself to an emergency room immediately.

    Finally, keep in mind there’s no one way to escape a shark attack. People have stayed calm and gotten away and people have fought them off. Before I knew anything about surviving an attack, I was once bumped twice by a shark. I freaked out and ran out as fast as I could, and made it to shore with a pounding heart. People will tell you that sharks don’t like the taste of humans, but I’m here to tell you that by the time a shark realizes it doesn’t like how you taste, you’ve already lost a limb. Follow the guidelines above on how to avoid being in a shark attack, especially the tip on swimming or surfing in a group. Surfing and swimming in a group is a lot more fun anyway!

    Latest Shark Attack News

    shark attack How to Survive a Shark Attack

    13 Comments »

    1. Do bright colors attract a shark?

      Comment by Rachel — March 18, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    2. Yes, bright colors do attract sharks, so it’s best to not wear very bright swim suits. Shiny objects also attract sharks, so it’s also best to not wear jewelry in the ocean.

      Comment by Texas Surfer — March 19, 2009 @ 9:54 am

    3. Thanks for the info about how to avoid and survive sharks attacks.. It really helps for us..

      “Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped.”

      Comment by power kites — May 18, 2009 @ 12:43 am

    4. I THNK THAT IS A GOOD IDEA BUT HOW IS YOOOU TRIE TO PUNCH

      Comment by sidney deihl — May 29, 2009 @ 9:34 am

    5. Well, it’s nose is gonna be right by its mouth, and its mouth will be holding on to some part of you. Just punch it.

      Comment by Texas Surfer — June 14, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

    6. Wouldn;t the water soften the impact?

      Comment by Jess — July 26, 2009 @ 1:03 am

    7. Probably … what else are you gonna do though?

      Comment by Texas Surfer — July 25, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

    8. Dang that would suck to get bit by a shark, I’ve been bit by a big fish on the thumb once and stung by a jelly fish, and was attack by a pit bull, no shark yet, thank God!

      Comment by Matthew T Rader — October 23, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

    9. well my question is, if the shark has ahold of you, how do you fight without the shark getting bit even more? i think that you should be calm, strugling just makes it come at you alot faster. im just a child and i understand that sharks dont personally come after you because they want to eat you, they come because they think of you as the normal food they usually eat(seals, jellyfish, fish, etc.) also the gills are the best place to hit them becaus if they cant breathe what are they gong to do? they will release you and try to breathe, that is when you will go as fast as you can and try not to be noticed by the shark.

      Comment by Hannah Mick — November 14, 2009 @ 1:06 pm

    10. The chances of being attacked by a shark while swimming in the ocean, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History, are 1 in 11.5 million. The chances of a fatal attack are 1 in 264.1 million. Both odds decrease somewhat if you are bleeding or, it turns out, peeing. By comparison, the chances of drowning during a visit to the beach are just 1 in 2 million. And the chances of being struck by lightning in any given year are 1 in 500,000, according to the National Weather Service — a risk that narrows to 1 in 6,250 over an 80-year lifetime. Four people died in shark attacks in the U.S. from 2004 to ’08; during the same period, the National Weather Service estimates, 2,700 Americans were struck by lightning.

      Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1954274,00.html?xid=rss-topstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Ftopstories+%28TIME%3A+Top+Stories%29#ixzz0dGRJvNOM

      Comment by Texas Surfer — January 21, 2010 @ 10:15 am

    11. I have heard for years that the smell of ammonia (as in urine or pee, piss whatever you wanna call it) attracts sharks TEN TIMES better than blood- so no matter how cold it is, don’t PEE IN YOUR WETSUIT!!! Don’t pee in the water period, if you see lots of kids, or dogs in the water GET OUT (they’ll pee in the water for you).

      Comment by Scott — June 11, 2010 @ 9:06 pm

    12. It is not as uncommon shark attacks as you say, the are more than 250 a year in the Florida coast, but no 250 lightning stricks to humans. Only 3 months ago in Stuart, Florida, was a fatality. So please dont tell people how unlikely is. The MUST be carefull and never forget that they are out there and they attack.

      Comment by monica blanco — June 19, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

    13. From 1882 – 2009, Florida has experienced 13 fatal shark attacks and averaged only about 6 unprovoked shark attacks per year. I don’t know where anyone would get the number, 250 shark attacks per year. There aren’t 250 shark attacks a year on the whole planet.

      Source: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/statistics/GAttack/mapFL.htm

      Comment by Texas Surfer — June 19, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

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