How to Avoid Shark Attacks When Swimming in Open Water:

29 November of 2012 by

You don’t have to be in the middle of a shark infested lagoon in order to come face to face with a shark. Increasingly sharks are being seen in cooler water than they are usually accustomed to. This change in behavior could be prompted by a drop in fish stocks or could be as a result of climate change. Whatever is causing it, it means that those people who enjoy swimming in open water need to be a little more vigilant and pay more attention to the kinds of creatures they are swimming with. Saying that you are still highly unlikely to be bitten by a shark, statistics show that you are more likely to be struck by lightning. But as they say, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Great white shark
Great white shark

Tips for Avoiding Shark Attacks

There are a number of simple things that you can do, that you would probably have never thought about which will make you seem less attractive to the shark population.

  • Avoid wearing bright colours. There is a popular myth that states that sharks are colour blind, this has been proven to be untrue. Go into the water wearing a brightly coloured swimsuit and you could look like that tastiest tropical fish in the water. Wear dull colours but remember to avoid black, as this may make you look like a seal – their favourite snack!
  • Remove your jewellery. Think of how the scales of a fish shimmer in the water, your jewellery will do the same. You could easily be mistaken for a fish.
  • Swim in a group. There is definitely safety in numbers. Sharks have been known to avoid groups of swimmers in favour of an individual.
  • Avoid feeding time. The majority of sharks do their feeding in either the early morning or after sundown. At night the ocean is a totally different and more dangerous place than during the day. In some ways a sharks eyes are similar to those of a cat meaning that they can see well in the darkness, we however can’t.

Shark warning sign
Shark warning sign

More Tips for Staying Safe

Aside from the obvious things like making yourself look less tasty, there are other things to remember.

  • Stay away from sandbars. Places like sandbars and drop offs tend to attract shoals of fish, which makes them areas where a shark is likely to go looking for food. Unless you also want to be considered food, stay away from these areas.
  • Avoid dirty water and effluent pipes: Hopefully you would avoid these areas anyway! These areas tend to have a lot of waste in the water, which attracts all kinds of scavengers into the area. Plus the water here will be murky and visibility will be poor, remember your eyes aren’t as good as the sharks.
  • Don’t go in the water if you are menstruating. The adverts may say that you can do anything wearing a tampon and the world will be oblivious, but unfortunately the shark won’t. You might as well ring the dinner bell.

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