Safety Tips: How To Survive A Shark Attack

While adventures like deep diving and snorkelling are thrilling, they are equally vulnerable to life threats. Find out how to survive a shark attack when needed
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For representation purpose onlyDepositphotos

A few days ago, in a tragic accident in Egypt at the Dahab Resort on the Red Sea in the south of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, a woman from Alexandria was fatally attacked by a shark and lost her left arm in the harrowing attack. A similar incident took place only three months ago when a Russian man was devoured by a shark near the resort town of Hurghada on the West coast of the Red Sea in mainland Egypt.

The Red Sea Coast in Egypt
The Red Sea Coast in EgyptDepositphotos

Increasingly, cases from around the world of shark attacks have seen a hike. From various statisticians, a total of 57 shark attacks were confirmed worldwide in the year 2022. In such a scenario, we must remain mindful of the measures to be taken if attacked by a shark.

Discover safety tips and precautions to follow when facing a potential shark threat.

Why Sharks Attack?

Sharks may attack humans for various reasons. These include mistaken identity, where they confuse humans with their natural prey, feeling threatened or provoked, curiosity leading to exploratory bites, aggressive feeding behaviour, territorial defence, and reactions to sudden movements or vibrations in the water. Although sharks swim in deep water, it is imperative to remain alert and follow safety guidelines in known shark habitats to reduce the risk of encounters and promote coexistence with these important marine creatures.

What Can Be Done?

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For representation purpose onlyDepositphotos

Learn how to stay safe in the presence of sharks with these guidelines and precautions.

Stay Calm

If you encounter a shark, staying calm and avoiding sudden movements is essential. Like many animals, sharks may feel threatened by sudden movements, and panic can make the situation worse. To avoid triggering a shark's predatory instincts, it's best to maintain eye contact with the shark and avoid sudden, jerky movements. By doing so, the shark may be less likely to attack as it will feel that you are aware of its presence.

Stay Equipped And Vertical

When you're in the water, it's important to be cautious. Never turn your back on them and try to stay upright with your feet below you. Sharks are more likely to attack if they see you as prey near the surface. If you have access to any protective gear, like a spear or a boat paddle, use it to defend yourself.

React Instantly

If a shark attacks, it's crucial to protect your vital areas (head, neck, and torso) as best as possible. Use your fists, elbows, and knees to fend off the shark. Move slowly and steadily towards the shore or a boat. The less time you spend in the water, the lower your risk of further attacks. If you're with others, signal for help immediately. The more people are aware of the situation, the better your chances of getting help.

Be Wise And Informed

If you ever get bitten by a shark, seeking medical attention immediately is crucial, as it can be quite severe and requires prompt treatment. Different shark species pose different risks and exhibit different behaviours, so understanding the kind of shark you may encounter can be beneficial. To reduce the risks of encountering a shark, avoid swimming in areas known for shark activity, especially near fishing boats or places where fish are being cleaned.

Travel Responsibly

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For representation purpose onlyDepositphotos

Climate change is also contributing to the issue of shark-human encounters. A study conducted in 2016 revealed that as ocean temperatures continue to rise, sharks are moving away from their warm and less populated habitats in the south towards cooler, more crowded waters in the north. This migration has made shark-human encounters more frequent. To minimise your environmental impact, reducing waste, conserving resources, and supporting eco-friendly practices is essential. You should prioritise ethical wildlife interactions and avoid activities that could harm animals and their habitats. Always respect wildlife and nature, and make sure you don't leave any traces of your visit so that future generations can also enjoy the vibrancy of the earth.

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