This is how you survive if attacked by a shark

Learn how to avoid and respond to shark encounters to ensure your safety while your time at the beach.

Sandbar shark [Illustrative] (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/JEFF KUBINA)
Sandbar shark [Illustrative]

There have been dozens of shark attacks in different places around the globe. Now, experts have explained what to do if you spot a shark while you're in the water.

Prof. Robert Latour, a marine science expert at the Virginia Institute, explained to CBS News what you should do to survive a shark attack. He explained, before you enter the water, scan for any unusual activity from fish. If you noticed small or medium-sized fish jumping out of the water, this may indicate a shark is nearby.

The professor said that swimming in the early morning or late at night should be avoided because most shark attacks have occurred during these hours due to the sharks mistaking their victims for other animals. Additionally, try not to carry shiny items when you are in the water. Jewelry, a shiny swimsuit, or anything else that can make the shark think you are a fish worth eating should be avoided.

Prof. Ryan Johnson, a marine biologist, told the Daily Star that it's best not to panic and start flapping in the water, which could attract the shark to us: "If you encounter a shark while you’re in the water, the worst thing you can do is act like prey. If you act like prey, they are possibly going to treat you like prey. Don’t panic, don’t thrash, don’t try to get away."

As for information on shark attacks, it appears that most of the attacks (72%) recorded in the world last year occurred in the US, 40% of which were in Florida alone, followed by Australia in second place with 16% in total, according to the British news outlet The Daily Mail. Last year, five people were killed due to a shark attack: two in Egypt, two in South Africa, and one in Hawaii.

What do you do if you run into a shark while swimming?

Remember, the chances of encountering a shark while enjoying water activities are low, but it's crucial to know how to avoid and respond to potential encounters to ensure your safety.

Experts advise knowing your environment, avoiding swimming in areas with fish remains and blood, and staying away from river mouths after heavy rains. Additionally, it's best to refrain from swimming during dawn, dusk, and night, and to seek advice from local lifeguards before venturing into unfamiliar waters.

If, by any chance, you do encounter a shark, remain calm and avoid panicking. Show the shark that you're not docile and can defend yourself. Remember to target the shark's eyes, nose, or gills if attacked, and seek immediate medical attention for any injuries. Having a weapon like a knife can also be helpful.

If the shark loses interest, swim quickly to safety while keeping any arm wounds elevated, as the wounds from shark attacks can be severe.