Today, let’s talk about a swimming hazard that definitely can’t be fixed with a pool fence
… sharks in the water!
Should I Be Scared of Sharks in the Water?
First of all, let’s start this blog with some calming news. Contrary to what sensationalized movies and TV might imply, shark attacks are not very common. Unlike in Jaws
, it is quite rare for a heavily populated beach to attract sharks in the water
. For those of us in the United States, the odds of being attacked by a shark is about one in 11.5 million. That’s a relief, right? Here’s one more: the odds of dying from a shark at are less than one in 264.1 million.
So before we move on, know that our natural fear of sharks in the water is fairly unrealistic. Obviously, these creatures can be extremely dangerous. However, most of the time you shouldn’t be too worried. Instead, you should focus on more realistic fears, including drowning danger
and electric shock
, which threaten the lives of thousands of people each year.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Shark Attacks
Now that we’ve (hopefully!) cleared up your fears, it is still important for all of us to take certain precautions. After all, while it may not be likely that you’ll see sharks in the water, it never hurts to be prepared. Below are some critical safety tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a shark attack.
Stay Away From Sharks!
We’re not kidding, this is the most important tip. If waters are known to draw sharks, there are usually posted warnings. Swimmers would do well to listen to these, and all other, warning signs. Additionally, you should only swim where a professional on-duty lifeguard
is present. That’s a surefire way to choose a proper place to swim. These lifeguards will be able to spot sharks in the water and warn the crowd before an incident occurs.
Swim with a Group
Don’t swim by yourself. You want to present yourself as a member of a pack, since sharks are often drawn to lone swimmers. If you seem like a potential threat, most sharks will ignore a crowd and seek out weaker, easier prey.
Don’t Swim Too Far From Shore
Besides an increased risk of drowning, the deeper the water, the higher the risk. Larger sea creatures live where there is more room. That definitely includes sharks. So be smart and stick to the shallows!
Don’t Swim in the Ocean at Night
The daytime is much safer when it comes to sharks in the water. Sharks tend to be much more active when it gets dark.
Speaking of the dark, make sure you aren’t wearing reflective jewelry or clothing while swimming in the open water. Just like a fishing lure, these shiny objects can capture the attention of underwater life. That includes any potential sharks in the water!
Don’t Bleed in the Water
Now, obviously you don’t ever want to be bleeding. That said, there’s an extra danger when you are swimming in open water. If you have a cut, blood can hit the water… and attract sharks, which have an incredibly powerful sense of smell. In a way, you’re practically ringing a dinner bell for a hungry predator. This also applies to anyone who may be menstruating. It adds an unnecessary risk to the water.
Those are some quick tips to avoid shark attacks. Again, the odds may not be very high, but education always helps us to eliminate or minimize many of the dangers we face in the water. Take the correct precautions and you shouldn’t have to worry about this particular hazard.