Great White Shark Attack

"That's something you don't want to see when you are out for a swim!"

A great white shark attack! We’ve all seen jaws and can imagine the panic of going for a swim and seeing a fin in the water….. Lets just check out the facts:

Shark attacks have killed only 11 people over the last 50 years in Australia. Numbers continue to fall despite Australia being the second most likely place after the United States to be attacked by a shark.

Fatal shark attacks are more likely to be in Queensland and South Australia.

Overall there have been 600 shark attacks throughout Australia in the last 50 years, most of which have not been fatal. The highest state for attacks is NSW. A great White shark attack is the most likely shark.

The last fatal shark attack in Sydney was on Sydney Harbour in 1963. Since then there have been a couple of shark sitings and last year someone was bitten in the harbour.

A Great White shark attack is the reason for nearly all of these deaths.

Why is a great white shark attack on the increase?

No-one really has a definite answer as to why shark attacks in general are on the increase

Sharks are getting nearer the shores due to an algae that is now present in the water.

Our waters are also getting cleaner which is attracting great white sharks and other types of sharks further into our bays.

Which sharks are likely to attack?

There are over 370 shark species and you will find 166 of these in Australia’s waters. Only a small few are a threat to humans. These include the great white shark, tiger shark and bull shark

The White Shark can be as long as 6m and weighs over 2,200kg(!!) All sharks have an extra sense which allows them to detect the electromagnetic field emitted by the movement of living animals.

It's unclear why sharks attack but it is generally not intentional. They may get confused and think you are a fish or at least a good food supply.

How to avoid a great white shark attack

Shark experts agree that by following some simple rules the likelihood of being attacked by a shark is extremely minimal.

  • Do not swim, dive or surf where dangerous sharks are known to gather, such as canal developments in Southern Queensland.
  • Always swim, dive or surf with other people at patrolled beaches.
  • Do not swim while bleeding.
  • Do not swim in dirty or murky water.
  • Avoid swimming well offshore, near deep channels, at river mouths or along drop-offs to deeper water.
  • Do not swim where there are large schools of fish.
  • Do not swim with pets and domestic animals.
  • Look carefully before jumping into the water from a boat or wharf.
  • If possible do not swim at dusk, dawn or at night when some sharks may be more active.
  • Do not swim near people fishing or spearfishing.
  • If a shark is sighted in the area leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible.
  • Do not wear jewellery or shiny objects as the reflections could be mistaken for fish.
  • Do not swim near fur seal colonies especially during the pupping season.
  • What to do if a great white shark attack is imminent!

    If you are in the water and you see a shark, stay calm!

    Leave the area as quickly and as quietly as possible. However, if it looks like you are about to be attacked then try hitting the shark’s nose, gouging at its eyes, making sudden body movements, blowing bubbles, etc.

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