Sharks Attacks: Are you on their Menu?
Did you ever step into the ocean water and say to yourself, I hope there are no big sharks around? If you are like most people the answer is definitely yes. Peoples worst fear is being literately eaten alive by a highly skilled eating machine such as a shark. The real scary part about entering the water is you have no idea if there is any shark activity until you actually dive in and take a 360 degree look around. Think about it for a minute, a shark could be just several feet away from the actual spot you jump in. You could actually dive in and land on top of a shark as some people actually have.
The chances of this happening is very slim but tell that to the shark. The International Shark Attack File from southern Florida investigated 130 reported shark attacks worldwide in 2014. Keep in mind that these were reported attacks, many attacks are never reported at all.
The odds of being attacked by a shark is very slim but you need to know what your getting into when you enter the ocean, the shark certainly does!
Here is a top ten list of the most aggressive sharks starting with the most dangerous and their perspective track record:
1. Great White – Attacks 400+, Fatalities 76
2. Bull Shark – Attacks 110+, Fatalities 29
3.Tiger Shark – Attacks 159, Fatalities 32
4. Oceanic Whitetip – Attacks Unknown, Fatalities Many
*The Oceanic Whitetip is found many miles from shore and is a deep sea predator that has attacked and killed many shipwreck victims. Most of these attacks were never documented.
5. Shortfin Mako – Attacks 48, Fatalities 4
6. Bronze Whaler Shark – Attacks 38, Fatalities 3
7. Blue Shark – Attacks 32, Fatalities, 4
8.Sand Shark – Attacks 66, Fatalities 2
9. Blacktip Shark – Attacks 42, Fatalities 1
10. Hammerhead Shark – Attacks 36, Fatalities 1
The state of Florida leads the United States in shark attacks. Here are the top 5 beaches with the greatest chance of be attacked by a shark.
Number #1 on the list is Volusia County, Florida
Volusia County is located on the East Coast of Florida; Volusia County is home to very scenic Smyrna Beach, which is known as the shark attack capital of the world, not just the U.S. but the world. According to a study of the International Shark Attack File, New Smyrna has seen a brutal statistic of 238 attacks in all the recorded history and the county has witnessed 269 attacks. Incredibly none of the 267 attacks have been resulted in any deaths; experts state this to the overabundance of juvenile bull sharks in this area, which don’t usually cause catastrophic injury or deaths.
Number #2 on the list is Brevard County, Florida
A stone’s throw away from Orlando Florida, Brevard County has some very large and beautiful beaches like Cocoa Beach and Satellite Beach, which are almost always loaded with tourists. The popularity of the beach increases the odds of an attack, as there have been 122 total attacks in the county. Of the 122 shark attacks, there was only one death all the way back in 1934.
Number #3 on the list is the popular Palm Beach County, Florida
Palm Beach County covers West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Boca Raton and has a huge amount of people on the beach and quite a few shark attacks to go hand in hand. Palm Beach County has had more than 67 shark attacks on record; fortunately none of these were fatal, according to the careful record keeping of the International Shark Attack File.
Number #4 on the list is the famous tourist attraction of Maui, Hawaii
This gorgeous Hawaiian island is a beach dwellers dream come true. From the high peaks of the famous Mt. Haleakala to the fantastic beaches that circle the island. There is never a shortage of activities for outdoors man to do. Scuba Diving, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing and other fun water related sports are very popular. This extreme popularity increases the number of shark attacks throughout the years.
Maui has reported 57 shark attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File, keep in mind that this does not count horrible fatal shark attack that occurred this past April. Including this year’s attack of Maui local resident Margaret Cruse, there have been over five fatal attacks in the waters around Maui. Tiger Sharks which love the warm waters are normally at the top of the lists of suspects.
Number #5 on the list of dangerous beaches is Oahu, Hawaii
The third largest of the Hawaiian Island, Oahu is also known as the meeting place for humans and sharks to interact. Experienced surfers find some of the greatest waves in this area, snorkelers and Scuba Divers explore protected bays and swimmers love the open water swimming, sharks occasionally have run-ins with people. Oahu has seen 36 shark attacks; five of these attacks were unfortunately fatal.
Here are 15 very simple and effective tips I put together to keep you safe and hopefully out of a shark’s tummy.
1. Try to form and stay in a large group of people instead of swimming alone. Sharks would rather attack a lone swimmer. The more people you have in your group the better. Sharks can be a little intimidated when they are drastically outnumbered.
2. Don’t swim too far out from shore. This puts you into another risk category of falling as prey to the more deep water predators. The farther out you are the harder it will be for emergency assistance to help you if you are attacked. This should be considered simple common sense.
3. Avoid going into the water at night time, dawn, or at dusk. Most sharks are hunting at this time of the day due to the fact the visibility in the water is poor which could prevent their intended victim from seeing them. Sharks hunt by using the ambush system which is attacking from the blind side.
4. Needless to say don’t ever enter the water if bleeding in any way shape or form. Sharks can usually smell blood from over a mile away. Swimming while you have a bleeding cut or wound is simply advertising to all the sharks to move in for the kill.
5. Never wear any type of shiny jewelry or shiny equipment on your person. You will end up looking like shiny silver colored fish scales which means supper time for the sharks.
6. Don’t go into water with any type of food or snacks or even the odor of smelly food you might have ate and handled with your fingers. Wash off any food odors with soap and water.
7. Never go into a body of water that have commercial fisherman that use a lot of bait to attract the fish. This odor will definitely attract sharks and Sea Gulls which is a tip off to the sharks that food is close by.
8. Needless to say never at any point in time enter the water if shark activity is visually present. Simply leave the area and find another location that appears safe. Even if an area appears to be safe, there is absolutely no guarantee that hungry sharks are not working the area.
9. Never wear brightly colored clothing. This will make your much more visible to the shark especially in darker water with poor visibility.
10. Never splash around in the water. This will create noise in the water alerting sharks and directing them to your position. This is a form of ringing the dinner bell.
11. Always try to keep clear of sandbars or drop-offs in the oceans floor. These areas are a favorite place for sharks to congregate.
12. If you see Porpoises in the area, don’t give yourself a false sense of security about the sharks staying away. Both of these species eat the same type of food and keep in mind that sharks eat porpoises.
13. Never try to place your hands on a passing shark. This is a good way to create an attack. They do not have a friendly bone in their body.
14. If you are ever attacked by a shark, put up the greatest fight of your life and do not ever try to play dead. The most vulnerable place to strike a shark is his eyes. Many times divers and swimmer discouraged a shark attack by going for the sharks eyes.
15. Always use common sense when swimming in the oceans. This water is simply the shark’s home and you are invading it and becoming a potential source of food. Humans are not considered a part of a shark’s menu. When people are attacked it is because you are misidentified by the shark for another sea creature by mistake.
You are probably wondering why an insurance broker such as myself is writing this blog post about sharks and how to prevent being attacked.
I have been a N.AU.I. Certified Scuba Diver since 1977 and had plenty of experience swimming in several oceans. I have come into contact with multiple sharks and from experience and training I was always able to walk out of the water with all my body parts intact. It is recommended for anyone that has activities in the ocean and could have the misfortune of having a tragic experience with a shark.
Sometimes all the training and experience in the world might not help you in a confrontation with a shark. If you are considering purchasing low cost life insurance, give me a call and I will be happy to go over all your options and shop the market so you will be able to purchase the most affordable life insurance possible.
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