Bondi Rescue Lifeguard Harries Carroll Provides Tips for Avoiding Shark Attacks
Ways you can avoid an attack:
- You can monitor shark sightings on various apps like the SharkSmart app.
- If you see a shark behaving aggressively, the best thing you can do is remain calm. Do not panic! This is counterintuitive, but likely the biggest factor in whether or not you may be bitten.
- Don’t wear jewelery that shines and reflects light. It can cause sharks to mistake you for a fish in murky water.
- If you see a bait ball, get out!
- If there are animal remains on the beach, like dead seals, fish or whales, there are more likely to be sharks in the water.
- Sharks hunt at dawn, dusk and at night because the low light makes it harder for prey to see them coming, and many fish are most active at dusk. Act accordingly.
- Be vigilant around areas with a steep drop-off as certain species like the great white will use the deep water to ambush potential prey.
- Bull sharks frequent rivermouths to feed, where the water is murky. Sharkbanz are an excellent way of alerting a bull shark that you are not prey before they take a bite. Recent research validated by a 3rd party University showed bull sharks were 85% more likely to avoid a baited dummy when Sharkbanz were worn.
What to do in case of an attack on you or another person:
- If an attack occurs, punch the shark in the nose or eyes, and use anything you have (surfboard, dive tank, etc) to put it between the shark and yourself.
- Seek help from others immediately. If no one is around, use your shirt, wetsuit, surf leash, or anything long enough to tie a tourniquet above the wound on yourself or the person attacked. If the incident occurs while surfing, put the person on a board.
- Stay in a group! This deters sharks from investigating further.
- When you get to the beach, keep the legs elevated by pointing their head toward the water.
- Apply pressure directly to the wound with a towel or shirt.
- First aid and CPR classes are super valuable for unexpected situations like a shark attack. Preparation is key and will increase your confidence in the ocean and in life.
- Always call 000 for advanced medical care and know where the lifeguards are at all times.