The rarity of shark attacks does not take away from the serious nature of a fatal attack when it does occur. Nor does the seemingly random nature of shark attacks help to allay fears about being bitten. The wide range of shark behaviours, injuries to victims, and circumstances involved with shark attacks suggest that there is no easy single explanation for why sharks very occasionally bite people.
While shark attacks are rare, here are a few tips to reduce the risk of encountering sharks:
- Follow and check the SLSWA Twitter, SharkSmart website or news for alerts & activity prior to entering the water.
- Swim close to shore and between the flags at patrolled beaches
- Avoid aquatic activity at dusk and dawn
- Be sure to swim, dive or surf with others
- Avoid areas where there are large schools of fish, dolphins, seals, sea lions or bird rookeries
- Avoid areas where animal, human or fish waste enters the water
- Avoid deep channels or areas with deep drop-offs nearby
- Do not remain in the water with bleeding wounds
- Look carefully before jumping into the water from a boat or jetty
- If spearing fish, don’t carry dead/bleeding fish attached to you and remove speared fish from the water quickly
- If schooling fish or other wildlife start to behave erratically or congregate in large numbers, leave the water
- If you see a shark, leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible – avoid excessive splashing or noise