I'm feeling a bit in shock and very sad this morning. A 19 year old college student was killed yesterday by a shark attack, here at one of our neighborhood beaches. I can't imagine what his parents must be feeling, I think I would wish the shark to take me too...deep condolences to the Ransom family.
If you are living here at the coast with the ocean as your front yard, there is a good chance either you or members of your family will be in or on the water frequently. But even if you are a visitor there are things we can ALL do to lessen the chances we will meet a shark too.
I found this information that I wanted to share...
Swimming and surfing in an ocean filled with sharks is possible to do safely. The important thing is to use common sense when doing so. Sharks are at the top of the food chain in the ocean and must be respected. While no advice is going to keep you 100 percent safe, here are some tips to minimize your risk of being attacked by a shark.
Before You Swim in the Ocean
1. The first step to staying safe from shark attack while swimming is to stay out of the water during the sharks feeding times. Many species of shark are known to come closer to shore during dusk, dawn, and night time hours. Do not swim or surf during these high risk time frames.
2. Make sure that the beach you are going to swim at is patrolled by lifeguards. Having a lifeguard present and looking out for everyone in case of emergency can make a huge difference.
3. If a particular beach is known for shark attacks, take a pass on swimming there. The odds of you actually being attacked by a shark are slim, but why take a chance if you know they are around?
4. Leave Fido at home. A dog swims just like a meal to a shark and will attract attention. Make sure that you leave the pets at home for your beach trip or at least keep them out of the water.
While swimming in the ocean
1. Always swim in the ocean in groups. Sharks are predators first and foremost. They will seek out prey that is isolated more quickly than those that are not.
2. Make sure that you are not bleeding at all. Any open sore, cut, or even a menstruating woman will be like a beacon to any shark in the area. It only takes a drop for them to notice you.
3. Stay away from the channels and anywhere where the water is murky. This can lead to the most common type of shark attack. Sharks generally do not target humans. Most often the shark mistakes people for their normal prey, seals. Thus, murky water can lead to a misidentification.
4. Do not wear highly contrasting clothing or shiny jewelry in the ocean. A shark sees this quite well and will be attracted to the contrast. Wear dull colors that are of one color.
5. Avoid Swimming or Surfing alone.
6. Avoid swimming at dusk, at night, and at dawn. These are times when many sharks hunt, and although humans are not their natural prey they can make a mistake and bite you.
7. Avoid areas where fish gather, like piers or docks. Many sharks feed in these types of places. Also avoid swimming where there are schools of small fish. Sharks may be swimming through the fish feeding and accidentally bite you.
8. Do not thrash around in the water. Sharks can detect the magnetic fields and electrical signals given off by living and moving things using a subcutaneous sensory network system called the ampullae of Lorenzini. This sensory ability helps them to orient to their prey. Thrashing movements mimic weak or wounded fish, which are very appealing to sharks.
My intention with this post was to share information and not to scare. I love the ocean and all it's creatures, but we truly are in their world when we step off the shore and into the sea.
I've written about another danger that's related to the shark that you will want to read here if you spend time at the ocean, to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.