- 18 shark attacks have been reported in the United States this year.
- 6 of the shark attacks reported were located in Florida.
- 11 of 57 reported shark attacks worldwide were considered provoked.
Shark Week celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Guests included Shaquille O’Neal, Ronda Rousey and the panel of “Shark Tank.” WalMart got in on the celebration this year, selling shirts and toys. Pinterest was filled to the brim with cupcake recipes and decor ideas to go along with the thousands of Shark Week parties that occurred across the country.
Thanks to Shark Week, the public has taken an interest in these beautiful animals. From ramped up efforts in conservation to vacations centered around the ocean, the docuseries has done well for its subject. If you have found that you’re interest in sharks has been piqued, read on to gain a bit of understanding of what these animals are all about and how to keep yourself safe in an encounter.
Shark Bite Capital of the World
If you don’t already know, Florida has been called the shark bite capital of the world. Specifically, Volusia County tops the charts when it comes to shark attacks (NOT Miami, as was incorrectly stated during Shark Week).
Other counties that rank higher than others include Brevard, Palm Beach, Duval and Martin. Why the high number of shark attacks? Because there are hundreds of people in the water surfing and enjoying other activities.
It stands to reason that with more people in the water, there will be more shark attacks. To call them “attacks” however, may be a bit of a stretch. Humans aren’t typically a tasty meal for the average shark. When people are bitten, it could be called a test bite. The shark often confuses them with typical prey and takes a taste.
When the shark figures out that what they bit wasn’t what they normally eat, they swim on. There are, of course, cases that are out of the ordinary and could be called an attack. This means that knowing how to keep yourself safe from sharks is important if you are going into the ocean.
Avoiding Shark Bites
If you have any hope of lessening your chance of being bitten by a shark, stick to these rules:
- Swim in a group, because a shark is most likely to attack a solo swimmer.
- Stick close to shore where you are able to see the bottom of the ocean.
- Don’t swim at dawn, dusk or in the middle of the night.
- Don’t go into the water if you are actively bleeding.
- Don’t wear shiny jewelry or a silver, reflective bathing suit.
- Avoid water that has floating sewage.
- Avoid swimming in water where people are actively fishing.
- If you see sharks, stay out of the water.
- Don’t make erratic movements in the water.
- Porpoises present in the water does not mean there are no sharks nearby.
- If you do see a shark, don’t try to touch it.
- If you are attacked, fight!
Diving with Sharks
What do you do if you are diving with sharks as part of a tour or organized activity? The rules for avoiding a shark attack still apply, but you’ve also got to follow the rules set forth by the company running the activity.
Diving with sharks can be incredibly exciting, but don’t think that the danger disappears because you are with professionals. Sharks don’t know the difference between a person swimming for exercise and one swimming for the purpose of having a great story to tell. Don’t let your guard down when participating in one of these dives.
That said, it’s important to understand that these companies do have a responsibility to keep the participants in their outings as safe as possible. There should be safeguards in place before any crew lets paying customers dive into known shark-infested waters.
In many cases, these companies will have lookouts that stay aboard the boat, educate their customers about the specific types of sharks they are likely to see and how to react to a shark that gets too close, and provide solid-colored wetsuits for their participants.
You may be asked to sign a waiver when you dive with sharks, but does that mean the company cannot be held liable if you are attacked? Not necessarily. This is when you will want to hire a Miami personal injury attorney. If a loved one is killed in an attack, a Miami wrongful death lawyer can assist you.
Speak to a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney Today
Diving with sharks can be an amazing experience. If you participate in a dive, you are relatively safe, but you are swimming with wild animals that can be unpredictable. If you or a loved one are attacked by a shark while on a dive, reach out to an attorney to learn about your legal options.
If a loved one is killed, a Miami wrongful death attorney can assist you. Call our office today to schedule your appointment for a free case evaluation and discover more about your legal rights.