Summertime Essentials: Sun, Sea and Shark Attack?

Amira Arasteh (@Amira58) tells us how to survive a shark attack...

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On Jul 24, 2018
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I don’t know about you, but swimming with sharks seems all the rage right now? It’s as if sky diving and bungee jumping are old news - you know, ‘been there, done that’. People are upping the stakes. As if fate and slim odds aren’t adrenaline-seeking enough, someone thought to throw in one of the world’s most feared predators to spice things up a bit. Fabulous.

But whilst everyone I know is off to South Africa or Mexico to be dropped into the depths of the ocean in a cage, testing their heart rate against a shark, I’d honestly rather not. You could not pay me for that scare, no matter how safe or temporary it is. Put me in a cage and have a shark thrash about ‘trying’ to get in (in fact, who are we kidding here? Of course, it’s trying to get in) …and you will find me to have had a heart attack by the time I’m pulled up again. Is it also only me who thinks if it’s your time of the month, you’re more of a target? This is how my brain spirals.

However, if that is your idea of fun…here’s what you should think about if your adventurous jaunt goes wrong or if you just simply end up in the wrong bit of the sea:

1

Don’t sing the Jaws theme tune

Honestly, just don’t do it to yourself. It’s even in my head now and I’m nowhere near the ocean. Even those too terrified to watch the film know that soundtrack and it’s going to do nothing to save you.

We highly recommend listening to our groovy Spotify playlist instead...

2

Scream

But only if you’re above sea level. Underwater, you’re just going to intake water and blow out bubbles, giving the shark even more of an advantage. Respect to all you cage-divers for wanting to give sharks a chance. Note: they don’t scream either.

3

Pray it turns away

Maybe it’s already had lunch? Maybe it’s trying to watch its weight? Who knows, but you pray to whatever God you believe in - pray to them all. If the shark turns away, you’re most likely in luck and can swim safely away.

4

Throw a punch

Those boxing classes coming in handy right about now. Whether it’s with your fist or a piece of swimming equipment, experts recommend standing up to your potential killer and showing him who’s boss. I’ve probably fainted at this point but it’s worth a go. Never mock a selfie stick again as this could be your life-saving weapon. 

Apparently sharks respect size and strength, so act bigger and better and hopefully it will swim away. Don’t show it fear and flap around like a dying fish. Easier said than done, right? But apparently if you act dead, the shark will move in to take a bite, thinking you’re a goner anyways. 

5

Remove the bling

Light-reflecting necklaces, rings and other accessories are sure to get a shark’s attention. Yes, just like women, they love their jewellery. Maybe it’s a female shark always on the attack? Just do yourself a favour and take it off pre-ocean dip.

6

Respect the sharks

You know what? Maybe humans should just accept that there are some bigger and more badass creatures out there and perhaps we should just be mindful of their territories? Give them their space, respect the boundaries. The ‘my horse is bigger than your horse’ mentality just risks you losing and it’s not fun to lose to a shark. 

A few more thoughts...

It is worth remembering that shark attacks are still rare and there are other animals, namely insects and snakes that are more often responsible for human fatalities. According to Forbes, in 2017, there were five human deaths from shark attacks worldwide, small when compared to fisheries exterminating sharks at a rate of around 100 million a year. One hundred million!

Sharks are one of the world’s most fascinating creatures and are too often demonized, when few people know the real facts. I’m happy to learn more about our finned friends in their varieties, but from a safe distance. Come Shark Week’s 30th Anniversary on Discovery Channel, I will be glued to the screen, taking a bite out of the line-up of adventurers. With Jaw-dropping shark stories, viewers will gain a valuable insight into the unknown world of sharks. Shaq does Shark Week will show retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal face his fears as he gets into a toothy situation in The Bahamas; something we can all probably relate to. He’s a braver man then me! Meanwhile, we all know Bear Grylls as the guy who can take on the world’s most fierce and frightening animals and situations, but can even he survive putting himself up as shark bait? If anyone can do it, he can, but, once again, I’m glad to be staying on dry land for this one. 

What would be your reaction if you saw a shark?

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Catch Shark Week starting July 23rd on the Discovery Channel!