How to Survive a Shark Attack

OK, so the chances of you ever coming face to face with a shark that wants you for dinner are incredibly slim and to be fair, if it wants to eat you, it will.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the odds of you dying in a shark attack are 1 in 3,748,067. Sharks are more at risk from humans than we are from them. Some statistics suggest that an incredible 100 million die every year down to human activity. If those statistics are correct, that is around 11,000 every hour.

You need to understand that anytime you enter the water, you are entering the shark’s home. If he is hunting, he is not doing so for humans and most attacks are cases of mistaken identity. Wetsuits and surfboards can make any human look like the shark’s prey, the seal.

This being said, we wanted to share some tips with our readers just in case and because well, who knows what could happen the next time you enter the water.

Should You Swim Away From a Shark?

If a shark is nearby but hasn’t attacked, he could just be checking you out, not particularly wanting to eat you. It may sound like the most obvious thing to do would be to swim away as fast as possible but actually this isn’t the case and is most probably the worst thing that you could do. It would be like throwing a stick for a dog.

Should You Bring a Knife to a Shark Fight?

A knife would be pretty much useless in a shark attack unless you were just trying to excite it. If you have ever seen a shark close up then you know how big these animals can be. Your little knife is going to be no good at all. Even if you got a strike to cause the shark to bleed, that blood is going to attract even more unwanted attention.

Should You Hit the Shark in the Nose?

I have heard many times that if you are attacked by a shark, the best thing to do is to strike it in the nose. While it may possibly work the suggestion is deeply flawed. That nose is very close to the mouth and that mouth has many sharp teeth. While you are trying to attack and the shark is obviously doing the same, you could easily miss the nose and you could say goodbye to your arm.

Should You Play Dead During a Shark Attack?

Oh Hell No! Give it hell but be careful where you are aiming. If you play dead, the shark will simply try to swallow its catch.

So what should you do? Here’s some tips to get your teeth into:

  • Avoid swimming early in the morning or late at night as this is when they are likely to be out hunting
  • Never venture out into the water alone. A shark is much less likely to pursue a group of bathers but they may be willing to pick off a lone straggler
  • Sharks have a powerful sense of smell so avoid heading into the water if you have a pre-existing wound that is likely to bleed and whatever you do, do not urinate in the water
  • Avoid wearing any flashy jewellery while in the sea as you may attract unwanted attention as the sharks may mistake the glimmer for the scales of fleeing fish.

If you are unlucky enough to actually encounter a shark, remember the following:

  • Remain calm. They are only wanting to know if you are food or not. No big deal, right?
  • Do not splash about or you will make the shark even more convinced that you are prey
  • Keep eye contact with the shark at all times. Do not, even for a second, turn your back on it or allow it to circle behind you
  • If you think the shark simply intends to pass you, make yourself small and stay still
  • If you know for sure that the shark is going to go for the attack, you need to make yourself as big as possible, stand your ground, and intimidate it. Stretch out your arms and legs and give it a reason to think twice about the size of the task it’s proposing to undertake
  • Gradually work your way backwards towards the beach making no sudden movements and keep the shark in front at all times
  • If it lunges then you need to go on the attack too. Punch, claw, and do whatever you have to do but make your shots count and strike at the gills or eyes. If you have a weapon use it at these areas
  • If you have made it out alive and made it back to shore, contact me and let’s hear how you actually survived the shark attack. 

What to do if Someone Has Been Bitten by a Shark

  1. Help the victim to get to shore and wrap them in a blanket or towel to help keep them warm
  2. Apply pressure directly to the wound with any available cloth or fabric. If blood soaks through, do not remove the original cloth; simply add more as needed. You will also need to apply force to pressure points directly between the injury and the heart. These points include the groin area, above the elbow, and behind the knee
  3. If the bleeding isn’t slowed down by the pressure points, and there is no immediate medical help, a tourniquet may be the solution. Wrap the wound in a stretchy fabric as tightly as possible, and insert a stick or rigid pole between the bandage and skin. Twist to tighten until blood flow slows considerably or stops. Use this measure only under extreme circumstances, where no other choice is available
  4. Keep the wounded limb elevated above the heart
  5. Keep the victim still. If a limb appears disfigured, or broken bones are suspected, leave the limb in place. If possible, pad with soft material, applying ice to the outside of the pad
  6. If shock is suspected, treat appropriately: call 999, 911 or your local emergency number, lay the person down, and begin CPR if necessary.
   

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