Providing that the appropriate precautions are taken when diving with the creatures no, it is not dangerous to dive with sharks. Sharks are incredible creatures barely altered by the passing of millennia, yes they are carnivorous creatures but just because you are in the water with them doesn’t mean that they are going to turn you into a light snack. Contrary to what you may believe scuba divers are not on a sharks list of regular tasty nibbles, and since 2000 around the world there have been less than 70 shark attacks of which only a handful were fatal. Compare that figure to the amount of people savaged by dogs and you will see that the numbers are minimal, in fact there are more people killed each year in the simple act of falling out of bed (approx 300) than die as a result of an attack by a shark.
Injuries and Accidents
Though shark attacks are indeed rare there are people that argue the point that there are a large proportion of people that are injured by the creatures, and yes that is true, but then other animals also injure people. On average there are around one hundred people injured by some kind of shark every year around the world, compare that figure to the amount of people that get bitten by a dog, stung by a wasp or get injured during accidents in their own homes, the figures are negligible. Each and every activity that we involve ourselves in has some level of risk attached to it, from driving the family car to jumping in the ocean with a great white.
If you really are worried that you are going to have an untoward encounter with a shark while you are on a dive there are a few things that you to further reduce the already minimal risk to life and limb.
- Stay in waters that offer good all round visibility and avoid diving where the visibility is poor, this will allow you to see what is around you and let the shark see that you are not one of its usual snack foods.
- The majority of shark species are more active during the hours of dusk and dawn so avoid diving during these times.
- Should a shark be spotted while you are in the water stick close to your dive buddy, a predator is more likely to opt for a lone item of prey.
- If you do happen to see a shark, don’t start panicking, just keep calm and watch what it does.
- If you really do not feel safe in the water make your way back to the dive boat and get out of the water, calmly.
Rather than fear these amazing creatures divers should feel honoured that they have the opportunity to swim with them before they are totally wiped out by the illegal trade in shark fins, meat and other products. Rather than fearing their presence in the water they should look at ways of protecting these incredible creatures.
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