We'll outline the proper actions to take in the unfortunate event of a shark encounter during a swim in murky waters.
It's the beginning of summer vacation and beach getaways. Yesterday, a Russian tourist was killed by a tiger shark in Egypt near Hurghada on the Red Sea.
Rest assured, shark attacks remain extremely rare. "Humans are not on the sharks' menu," explains Lucien Besnard, a marine ecology doctor at the University of Western Brittany and a shark specialist, to BFMTV.com. However, on rare occasions, one may find themselves face to face with a shark. Here's what you should do.
· Stay calm
The first thing to do is to remain calm and not panic. Don't attempt to flee or make noise. "Otherwise, you'll behave like prey and attract the shark's curiosity," explains Lucien Besnard.
"If you stay calm, most of the time, the shark won't pay you any attention," he adds.
· Maintain eye contact
If, despite your calmness, you attract the shark's attention, it's crucial to never turn your back on it. On the contrary, maintain visual contact with the animal. Sharks are highly curious; if they think you haven't noticed them, they will continue to approach. In fact, "most attacks are not really attacks but exploratory bites," clarifies Lucien Besnard.
"They are generally quite timid and fearful for most species," he continues.
Once the shark moves away, you can slowly make your way back to the shore.
· Keep your distance
In rare cases where the previous measures are insufficient and the shark gets closer to you, try to keep a distance from it. You can use your camera, a snorkel, or a mask between yourself and the animal. This will help the shark understand that you are not prey.
Contrary to popular belief, attempting to strike or push the shark is a "myth," according to the specialist. "Hitting the snout or the gills are more like legends, and they are also quite challenging to execute," he explains.
· Avoid murky waters
Keep in mind that sharks are wild animals, and predicting their reactions can be difficult. To avoid such situations, it's best to take preventive measures and avoid finding yourself in these types of situations.
In areas with a high concentration of sharks, such as Florida, for example, it is strongly advised not to swim in murky waters. The lack of visibility can cause a shark to mistake a human for prey. This is particularly true during sunrise or sunset.