Tips to Reduce the Risk of Shark Attacks
There have been increased in shark attacks in Southern California this summer. Shark sightings are also not uncommon at along the shorelines in Orange County, California. As summer vacation is here, swimmers and surfers are swamping at the beaches. Though the chance of having a shark attack is still way lower than being hit by lightening strikes, there are precautions that you can take to minimize the risk of shark bite. Below are a few tips extracted from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)(1).
- Always stay in groups since sharks are more likely to attack an individual. Do not wander too far from shore - this isolates you and decreases your chance of being rescued.
- Avoid being in the water early in the morning and during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and searching for food.
- Do not enter the water if bleeding.
- Avoid wearing shiny jewelry because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales.
- Avoid waters being used by sport or commercial fisherman, especially if there are signs of bait fishes or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such action.
- Use extra caution when waters are murky and avoid bright colored clothing - sharks see contrast particularly well. Refrain from excess splashing.
- Exercise caution when occupying the area between sandbars or near steep dropoffs - these are favorite hangouts for sharks.
- Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and evacuate the water if sharks are seen while there. And do not approach a shark if you see one.
- Between the months of May to September, restrict your ocean swimming from 9 am to 5pm.
Have fun, and stay safe!
(1)Frequently Asked Questions About Sharks by NOAA (Source: International Shark Attack File) retrieved from http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sharks/FS_faq.htm
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