What to do if you are nose to nose with a shark - AmericaNowNews.com

Safety

What to do if you are nose to nose with a shark

  • SafetyWhat to do if you are nose to nose with a sharkMore>>

  • News

    Shark surprises fishing kayaker in waters off Oahu

    Shark surprises fishing kayaker in waters off Oahu

    When Isaac Brumaghim took his kayak out to fish in waters off of Leeward Oahu, he never knew he'd have a close encounter with a shark leaping out of the water just feet from his boat.
    When Isaac Brumaghim took his kayak out to fish in waters off of Leeward Oahu, he never knew he'd have a close encounter with a shark leaping out of the water just feet from his boat.
  • Shark repellent saves surfers

    Can shark repellent keep the big fish at bay?

    Pro surfer Joel Centeio believes in the small device he straps to his ankle when he takes to the water. "It just gives me that sense of safety. And I feel comfortable when I'm wearing it," he said. The
    Pro surfer Joel Centeio believes in the small device he straps to his ankle when he takes to the water. Created by Wilson Vinano, the lightweight machine emits an electric pulse that repels sharks by affecting the gel in a shark's nose.

Around the globe, the number of shark bites and attack fatalities is slowly rising, but researchers say that's not because there are more of them or that they are more vicious than before.

Instead, it's likely due to a growing number of people who are spending more time at the beach.

While the risk of a shark attack is about one in 11 million, dozens of people will become victims of shark attacks this year alone. Here are some life-saving tips in case you're mistaken for a meal.

With about 200 million people sticking their toes into coastal waters every year, there's bound to be a shark bite.

Christopher Coco provides daily husbandry and personnel oversight for two exhibit galleries and a staff of approximately 15 biologists, supervisors and volunteers at the Georgia Aquarium.

"People and animals just happen to bump into each other and it's just sort of a reaction from the animal more than anything else," said Coco.  

Most incidents involving sharks are hit and runs, or swims.

They are more likely to happen in shallow water, and usually are a case of mistaken identity--when a surfer or swimmer looks like a sea creature to the shark. 

"Those particular interactions are broken off by the shark pretty quickly when it realizes it has a mouth full of surf board and Styrofoam versus something else," Coco added.

If you are swimming and you can see a shark approaching or if the shark sinks its teeth in and doesn't let go, you should aim for its nose.

"Certainly, you want to punch back, distract the animal, maybe make contact with the eyes and put distance between yourself and the shark," Coco advised.

Since a shark's eyes and gills are its most sensitive areas, experts recommend you claw at them until it unclenches its jaw.

You should also swim to shore, or repeat bangs to the snout until you can get free.

A shark understands size and strength, so don't play dead.

For every person killed by a shark, there are millions of sharks killed by humans.

Still, when visiting the world of a wild animal, keep a watchful eye and, hopefully, you'll never even get near their nose.

To decrease your chances of being bitten by a shark, stay with a group in the water, swim during daylight hours only, avoid wearing shiny jewelry, and never swim where fisherman are nearby.

Of course, if you do see a shark, don't go in for a closer look or touch. A number of shark bite attacks happen every year due to curious swimmers want to get a closer look at these creatures.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

Additional Information:

The following information is from the Huffington Post (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/2011-shark-attack-statistics_n_1261339.html).

  • 2011 saw a continued downward trend in US shark attacks, but worldwide shark-related deaths were higher (all outside the US).
  • Tourists are venturing into more remote places.
  • There have been 75 shark attacks reported globally.
  • There were 29 attacks reported in the US, 11 of which occurred in Florida.
  • Australia, South Africa and Mexico also made the list of top places for shark attacks.
  • Surfers and others involved in board sports accounted for most of the attacks (60% of unprovoked attacks), as well as swimmers (35%) and divers (5%).

The following information is from Oceana.org (Source: http://oceana.org/en/our-work/protect-marine-wildlife/sharks/learn-act/shark-attack-statistics).

  • Only about a dozen of the approximately 500 shark species should be considered "dangerous" to humans with white, tiger and bull sharks responsible for more than half of attacks.
  • From 2006 to 2010 there were an average of 4.2 fatal shark attacks worldwide. In that time frame a total of 179 attacks occurred in the US, resulting in 3 fatalities.
  • The majority of attacks occurred in Florida.
  • Considering more than 200 million people visit US beaches each year, attacks are relatively small, with about 36 annually.
  • Risk of drowning is about 1:2 million, while risk of a shark attack is 1:11.5 million or a fatality 0:264.1 million
  • For every human killed by a shark, there are about 25 million sharks killed by a human.

The following information is from the Florida Museum of Natural History (Source: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/isaf/2012summary.html).

  • 2012 saw a yearly total of 80 unprovoked attacks, slightly higher than the 78 unprovoked attacks in 2011.
  • An increasing world-wide number of shark interactions most likely reflects the increased amount of time spent in the sea by humans.
  • Shark populations are actually shrinking.
  • In 2012, North America had the most (42) unprovoked bites with a total of 53 attacks including 11 in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. This is a significant increase from the lowest U.S. total in 2009 of 29 attacks or 2011's 31 attacks.
  • Florida again had the most (49%) of unprovoked US attacks. 26 bites.
  • This is attributed to very high aquatic recreational utilization in the area.
  • Seven fatalities resulted from unprovoked attacks in 2012, down from 2011's 13 but still above average.
  • 60% of cases involve surfers or other board sports.
  • Be proactive. Hit the shark on the nose with an inanimate object if possible. Get out of the water or repeat bangs to the snout. Claw at its eyes and gills, the sensitive areas.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Consumer

    How much of your donations really go to charity?

    How much of your donations really go to charity?

    In the aftermath of a disaster, donations are top of mind for many people and can do a world of good! But how do you know where your money is really going? America Now investigates!
    In the aftermath of a disaster, donations are top of mind for many people and can do a world of good! But America Now learned that some non-profit organizations receive only pennies on the dollar raised through solicitation campaigns. So how do you know where your money is really going?
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
Powered by WorldNow