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How to Reduce the Risk of Shark Attack and Injury

Shark incidents stinging people in Hawaiian waters are very rare, occurring on average at a rate of about 3 or 4 per year. From 1828 to July 2016, only 150 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks have been confirmed, including 10 deaths, three of which have occurred in the past 4 years, a period of an unusually high number of attacks that peaked in 14 in 2013.

Fatal shark bites remain extremely rare, especially considering the number of people who swim, surf, snorkel, or snorkel in Hawaiian waters. In 2015, nearly 8 million visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands, most of them venturing into the water at some point during their stay.

People entering the water must recognize that there are hidden dangers. Entering the ocean should be considered a “wild experience.” By learning more about sharks, using common sense, and observing the following safety tips, your risk can be greatly reduced.

That is how

• Swim, surf, or dive with others, and don’t stray too far from assistance. If you decide to go on a snorkeling boat excursion, you can be very confident that the boat will have spotters in the water to warn all participants of any approaching danger. Shark attacks during this type of tour are extremely rare, practically unknown.

• Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk, and at night, when some species of sharks may move ashore to feed. Most attacks occur when sharks perceive the swimmer as one of the natural food sources, such as a monk seal.

• Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or if you are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small concentrations.

• Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances, and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), canals, or steep slopes. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks.

• Do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well.

• Refrain from excessive splashing; Keep erratic swimming pets out of the water. Sharks are known to be attracted to such activity.

• Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present, and leave the water quickly and calmly if one is seen. Don’t provoke or harass a shark, not even a small one.

• If fish or turtles begin to behave erratically, leave the water. Be on the lookout for dolphins as they are preyed upon by some large sharks.

• Remove spear fish from water or tow to a safe distance behind you. Do not swim near people fishing or spearfishing. Stay away from dead animals in the water.

• Swim or surf on beaches manned by lifeguards, and follow their advice.

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