Mankind has had a fear of sharks as long as humans have lived near the ocean, but you can likely trace an elevated level of fear in the public consciousness back to the release of Jaws in the 1970s. The fact is that most people will never find themselves in a position where they’re at risk of a shark attack. However, that doesn’t mean shark attacks don’t happen—about 80 people are involved in unprovoked shark attacks each year, with six people dying per year on average.
This is an extremely negligible figure, of course. You’re actually far more likely to die from a lightning strike than a shark attack. Still, there are some ways you can reduce your risk and enjoy your time in the water without fear. With this in mind, here are some ways to avoid shark attacks:
- Never swim alone: Sharks are much more likely to attack people who are in the water by themselves than they are to attack people who are swimming in groups.
- Don’t get too far out: The farther away from the shore you get, the more isolated you become and the more likely you are to get into waters where sharks are likely to be swimming. In addition, getting too far away from shore places you out of reach of immediate assistance from lifeguards or other people in the area.
- Know the right times to swim: In general, it’s best to avoid getting in the water at dawn, dusk or nighttime. Shark are going to be the most active at these times. Plus, they’ll be able to see you in the dark much better than you’ll be able to see them. These are also times of day at which you’re much more likely to be isolated.
- Keep blood out of the water: If you have a cut that’s bleeding, stay out of the water. Sharks can smell and taste blood in the water from a fair distance, so it’s best to get out of the water as soon as you can to avoid attracting sharks.
- Make sure the water is clean: Sharks are much more likely to enjoy water that has sewage, for example, because it attracts bait fish. Make sure the water you go in is clean. This is also important just for your own personal health.
- Avoid bright colors: You should avoid wearing brightly-colored clothing or shiny jewelry. Reflections and bright colors will attract sharks. This is also true if you have an uneven tan, as the contrast may attract sharks.
- Don’t splash around: Splashing around and moving erratically are behaviors that can attract sharks.
- Leave if you see sharks: This should be obvious, but you should not get into the water if you know sharks are present. If you see sharks, leave immediately and wait to come back another time. Alert a lifeguard or other authority figure if you see a shark in an area where people are swimming.
These are just a few examples of how to avoid shark attacks. Contact our fishing charter in Hawaii for more tips.