What You Should NOT Do If You See a Shark

July 25, 2018

There’s a lot of information out there about marine wildlife. What’s accurate, and what’s fiction? You’ve probably watched shark movies that have offered conflicting advice about what to do if you encounter a shark. From panic to calm, you may have seen a full range of responses. Your fishing charter in Sarasota, FL is here to set the record straight.

There are certain things you should and should not do if you see a shark. Use this list when you’re on or in the water to protect both yourself, your loved ones and the wildlife.

Don’t Panic

Sure, it can be scary if a finned, large-toothed predator is approaching you in the water, but reacting with panic will make things worse. Remain calm. Panicked movement may draw the shark’s attention and bring it closer. If swimmers or divers keep their cool, sharks often swim toward them, check out the people and then simply swim away.

Don’t Splash

Your instinct may be to furiously swim away, kicking and splashing wildly as you go. This is a mistake. First of all, the shark is probably a better and faster swimmer than you. You won’t outpace him. Secondly, all the flailing about and slashing makes you look more like a fish. This can increase the shark’s curiosity and make it more likely to bite. Keep your movements slow and methodical. If possible, use only your arms.

Don’t Turn

If you’re in close proximity to a shark, don’t turn your back on it. If it does decide to approach and becomes aggressive, you need to be prepared to react. Knowing it is about to attack can go a long way in helping you defend yourself or avoid it.

Don’t Camouflage

Have you heard of shark-repellent gear? Some suits claim to imitate the colors of fish that sharks don’t eat or help you blend in or hide in the water. Other equipment offers electronic pulses supposedly designed to keep sharks at bay. Do not rely on these shark repellents.

Keep in mind that sharks find fish in the water all day long. Blending in with the ocean won’t help. And, since their usual meals are fish, why would you want to try to look like one, rather than like a human? Research does not support the effectiveness of any of these gimmicks.

Don’t Engage

Films of divers swimming with sharks or even tagging along with a hand hooked on the shark’s fin can give people a false sense of security. Don’t try to have an intimate moment with a shark. Even professionals who have extensive experience with reading shark behavior put themselves at huge risk when swimming with sharks. For the inexperienced, the risk skyrockets.

Learn More

Would you like to learn more about sharks or receive other helpful wildlife tips? Your fishing charter in Sarasota, FL offers in-depth knowledge of the sea and everything in it. Contact Charter Boat Shark today with any questions or to schedule your next fun, educational (and safe) excursion.

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