Survive a SHARK Attack

June 21, 2007

Its summer and everyone like to go to beach and swim, but with the great joy and entertainment in swimming there are some dangers associated and one and the most dangerous one is that of a Shark attack.

While you are far likelier to be killed by a stray dog, few animals evoke sheer terror in the way a shark does. Fortunately, sharks attack people only very rarely, and most species of shark are harmless to humans. Still, even medium-size sharks are more than capable of inflicting serious injuries or killing people. While it is best to learn how to prevent a shark attack you should also know what to do in case of an actual attack.

Steps

1. Remain calm. While you want to get out of water quickly if a shark attacks, you cannot outrun a shark in the water, and simply trying to sprint to safety may not be your best option. It’s important to keep your wits about you so you can continuously appraise the situation and figure out how to get to safety. Sharks are highly instinctual, like dogs in a way: They have “fear” sonar and if you feel fear even if not displaying it overtly, they sense it and that fear will stimulate their instinct to attack. It may take an instant black-belt, but your spiritual stance is very crucial.

2. Hit-And-Run.The most common type of shark attack, especially in shallow waters, is a “hit and run” attack. In this scenario, a shark will attack a person, but quickly withdraw without attempting another attack. If you’re lucky, this will be the case.

3. Keep your eye on the shark at all times. Sharks may retreat temporarily and then try to sneak up on you. Don’t let this happen. To be able to defend against the shark, you must know where it is, so make every effort to watch the animal, even as you’re trying to escape.

4. Get into a defensible position. If you can’t get out of the water right away, try to reduce the shark’s possible angles of attack. If you’re diving, back up against a reef, piling, or rock outcropping–any solid obstruction–so that you only have to defend attacks in front of you. If you’re diving near the shore, you may need to descend to find cover. In open water, get back-to-back with another swimmer or diver so that you can see, and defend against, an attack from any direction. Gradually surface together to get back to the boat.

5. Fight. Playing dead won’t deter an aggressive shark. Your best bet if attacked is to make the shark see you as a strong, credible threat. Usually, a hard blow to the shark’s gills, eyes, or–to a lesser extent–the tip of its nose will cause the shark to retreat. These are really the only vulnerable areas on a shark. If a shark continues to attack, or if it has you in its mouth, hit these areas repeatedly with hard jabs, and claw at the eyes and gills.

* If you have a spear gun or pole, use it! Aim for the head, specifically the eyes or the gills.

* If you don’t have a weapon, improvise. Use any inanimate object, such as a camera or a rock, or simply use your fists, elbows, knees, and feet to ward off the shark.

* If you have nothing around you, use your own body. Aim for the sharks eyes and gills. Use your fingers, elbows, knees, etc to poke at the eyes. Screaming under water will also work. The high pitched voice of a human will greatly effect the shark and cause it to move away.

6. Get out of the water. While there are a number of things you can do to ward off a shark attack, you’re not truly safe until you’re out of the water. Your goal should always be to get back to shore or back on the boat.

* If a boat is nearby, call out calmly, but loudly, for them to come to you. Stay as still as possible while waiting–as long as the shark is not actively attacking you–and get into the boat as quickly as possible once the boat reaches you.

* If you are near shore, swim quickly, but smoothly. Thrashing will attract the shark’s attention. Erratic movements may also give the appearance that you are wounded, and a wounded animal is more attractive prey to a shark. Use the smooth reverse breast stroke. This will reduce splashing.

7. Get medical attention. If you’ve been bitten, get treatment as soon as possible. Massive blood loss will occur, depending on where you’ve been bitten, so immediately take appropriate precautions, (including, if necessary, the use of a tourniquet), to stop the bleeding. Even if your wounds appear minor, it’s essential to get yourself checked out.

Tips

* If you’re fishing or have any sort of catch with you, drop it immediately and get away from it. The shark is likely to be more interested in your fish than in you, and you don’t want to get hurt for a few fish.

* Remember to breathe as you fight. You need adequate oxygen to effectively defend against an attack and to make a quick getaway and retreat to safety.

* Do not give up. As long as you keep fighting, there’s a good chance the shark will eventually give up and search for easier prey. Though giving up or playing dead is an option it is not a good one.

* Always carry a pole-spear or speargun with you especially if you’re diving in waters inhabited by sharks.

* The best way to survive a shark attack is to avoid one altogether.

Warnings

* A shark’s mouth and teeth are very close to its nose, so it is recommended that you focus on other areas such as the gills or the eyes of the shark. These are effective and safe targets to hit. Only hit the animal’s snout with your bare hands as a last resort and always use the utmost of caution.

* Repress the urge to scream. Screaming will not deter the shark, and may provoke it further. However if the shark seems to have decided to make you his next meal already it may be prudent to scream anyway.

* Sharks are deadly creatures and are not to be trifled with. Never provoke a shark or intentionally put yourself in a position in which you are likely to be attacked.

* When diving, remain calm and remember to follow proper safety protocols. An attack can turn even more fatal if you panic and surface too quickly, then you put yourself at significantly increased risk. Surfacing to quickly, especially from deep depths may result in arterial gas embolism or severe decompression sickness, better known as, “the bends”.

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