No, this is not the title of another installment of Sharknado. That ship had sailed way back in 2018 when the seemingly never-ending series of films finally stopped. Maybe sharks went on a strike, refusing to be thrown out of the water every year. The point is, watching sharks enjoying their meal on a summer afternoon is fun when it’s on Sharknado. Or, when I’m binge-watching Jaws. But even the thought of seeing a shark fin around you when you’re in the water sends shivers down my spine. I’m sure all of you will be able to relate to this nightmarish feeling. While the statistics show how unlikely it is to be attacked by a shark, the chances are not exactly zero. On average, there are reportedly sixteen shark attacks only in the US. The number’s quite low, but it’s still scary. Because, once a shark attacks you, you either get heavily injured, or you take your last breath. There’s a slim chance to survive a shark attack if you encounter one. We should all prepare ourselves before entering their realm.
The best possible way here is to not get attacked in the first place. That is the case with all the deadly predators of wild nature. Be it a vacation trip or a wild adventurous one – whatever you are on. You have to be prepared accordingly if you want to dive into the water. It does not matter whether it’s a shark-infested area or not. So, jump into the best bet to survive a shark attack, which is:
Survive a Shark Attack: Prevent it!
In the case of sharks being seen or a potential threat of one, just don’t enter the water. How hardcore it may seem to do the opposite, stop. It will only increase the chance of a shark attack. If you look at the shark attacks statistics, you’ll see the number of people getting attacked after ignoring the warning. So, beware of these silly mistakes.
- Try to stay in groups. Being alone only increases the possibility of getting attacked.
- Stay near the shore. Don’t go too far off the coast if you’re in a shark-infested area.
- Avoid water in the dark. Sharks are mostly active at around dawn and dusk. Especially avoid those two times for swimming.
- Try to avoid wearing high-contrast clothes, jewelry, or anything glossy. Just like the smell, sharks also possess a great sense of sight. They can detect the contrast of different shades of colors the clothing and jewelry makes. As a result, you become visible, easy prey.
- Try your best not to resemble fishes. If you start to panic and try to paddle quickly, that might attract the shark even more. It may think your legs are indeed fishes or potential target.
- Don’t let your bodily fluids drag your enemy to you. Sharks have a heightened sense of smell. If you have a bruise and it’s bleeding, just do yourself a favor and don’t go into the water. Only a drop of blood will lure a shark right to you. The same goes for peeing. We tend to pee in the water either because of laziness or just the feeling of doing the job. Sharks can also smell your urine. So, take control of your bladder for a while.
- Stay clear of areas used for fishing. Fishers set bait in the water, which leads small fish to come for food. Eventually, the big guy comes for the swarm of small fishes. So, don’t make yourself another serving in the grand dinner for the shark.
- There’s nothing called sharp repellents. Such cheap repellents can be found in the market. But they are as helpful as a negotiation with the shark. Both of them don’t work.
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Know Your Sharks
Let’s say, after all these precautionary measures, you are in the water and suddenly notice a shark fin spinning around. What to do then? Well, before taking the actions at hand, you have to know the enemy to defeat that. Out of over three hundred species of sharks, only twenty of them have been found guilty of attacking humans. Also, only four out of those twenty been reportedly accused of most of the deadly attacks. Let’s learn about these four lethal sharks one-by-one.
The Great White Shark
It is called the world’s largest predatory fish for a reason. These giant-killers can be as long as twenty feet or so! Their sizeable conical snout works as a trademark to distinguish them from the other species.
Tiger sharks are usually found to be 10-13 feet long. They are super-fast, with the ability to reach an average speed of 20 mph. Tiger sharks are famous for their extra-sensitive electric sensors on their side. These sensors can spot other animals (or preys, if you will) with the help of their electromagnetic fields.
Unlike the rest on the list, this species of shark can tolerate freshwater. That’s why they are sometimes found in rivers. They can be identified with a mix of gray and white color on their body. Males have an average length of 6 feet, while females can reach up to13 feet.
You might also want to read: Wild Animals: Fighting for Survival
Oceanic White-tip Shark
They are guilty of attacking the highest number of people than any other species. They can be identified by their long trademark fins.
David vs. Goliath of Water!
We’ve come to the most challenging part of answering the question of how to survive a shark attack. You guessed it right – it’s facing the giant. Surely in water, you are nothing in front of a shark comparing the strength, aggression, size, or speed. But you have something superior which can make you a David in these situations – your brain. Just use your creativity and follow the strategies below. You are sure to come out of this battle with the giant killer with little-to-no injuries.
Do Not Act like a Dead to Survive a Shark Attack
By ‘playing dead’, you’re basically presenting yourself as the shark’s meal. Sure, this strategy works great in surviving against a bear attack. But not all plans work with everyone.
Slowly Fall Back
Try to swim back to the shore, keeping an eye on the shark’s movements. Try not to splash or thrash too much while doing so. It will help you escape unnoticed if you are lucky enough.
Survive a Shark Attack: Back-Up Against Something Solid
When you can’t escape the attack, you can decrease the number of angles the shark can attack you. Try backing up against something solid structure. You can go for any boat or the side of a cliff. It will also prepare you for a much-needed retaliation.
Read the Movements to Survive a Shark Attack
If the shark starts to encircle you with frequent bumping, that can mean a lot of things. Either the shark is curious about you, or it’s messing with to make you panic. It can also mean the shark is preparing to attack you. Whatever the case is, you are in danger. So in the meantime, try to come up with a plan.
Knock Them Where It Hurts the Most
Aim for their eyes and gills. They are sensitive areas that can give you leverage. You can also target the nose of the shark. But that only increases the risk of missing the target and practically sliding your hands inside the shark’s mouth yourself.
Grab Anything You Find and Attack!
Utilize whatever you have on you as a weapon. It can be rocks around you, or any of your belongings that’s hard. People also carry something called a shark billy, which is a wooden club with a short spike. In case of finding no other weapon, use your hands and feet.
Survive a Shark Attack: The Last Resort
When there’s absolutely no chance of escaping the attack and the deadly fish starts to mess with you, fight back with all your determination and aggression. Pound your body in the water while attacking it however you like – punch, kick, head butt. If you’re lucky, then the shark will panic and leave you.
What to Do Afterwards
If you, or anyone around you, falls victim to shark attacks and gets injured, follow these:
- Help the victim (or yourself) reach the coast and wrap him/her with a towel or warm cloth.
- Apply direct pressure to the injuries with a piece of cloth or towel. If blood seeps through, add more clothes. Do not try to remove the original one.
- If possible, lift the injured part of the body above the heart – especially if it’s heavily bleeding.
- Get help from the coast guard, lifeguards, or any other authority around
- Most importantly, rush to the emergency room or call the local emergency service.
That concludes today’s guide on how to survive a shark attack. Mishaps are part of our life, so are the adventures. Just be cautious while on a trip to the beach so your joys don’t turn into lifelong injuries, or worse. Stay safe! Feel free to subscribe to our newsletters and leave a comment below if you have any ideas to survive a shark attack.