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Sharks: How to protect yourself from the fish when swimming on vacation

long distance travel safety rules

How to stay away from sharks while bathing

The chance of being chased or even killed by a shark is negligible. But every report of a shark attack anywhere in the world is tied to the myth of the bloodthirsty monster. A few rules are enough to avoid encountering the predatory fish in the first place.

How to behave correctly in the event of a shark attack

A Russian has died after a shark attack in the Egyptian resort of Hurghada. The animal is said to have been attracted by rubbish beforehand. Underwater photographer Tobias Friedrich explains what to do when encountering such a predator.

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Mith safety, Steven Spielberg did the species a disservice with his global hit Jaws. Anyone who knows the film from the 1970s will always see sharks as a danger. This fear is reinforced by news from the holiday paradises of this world. In early June this year, a tourist was killed by a shark near Hurghada, Egypt. The Turks and Caicos Islands, New Jersey and Florida report further shark attacks.

However, anyone who sees their own vacation at the sea endangered with every shark report should think twice: last year five people died from sharks worldwide – out of a world population of 7.8 billion. According to the Register International Shark Attack File, sharks have attacked 57 times without cause. Another 32 attacks were provoked by humans.

So the chance of being chased or even killed by a shark is negligible. Swimming is more dangerous. The World Health Organization estimates that over 236,000 people drown every year.

Where sharks like to hang out

Still, shark incidents are likely to increase in the future. For example, 40 percent of people already live no further than 100 kilometers from the coast. And there will be more. The habitat not only for sharks is getting smaller and smaller.

Guarded sections of the coast are the safest for beach holidaymakers. Lifeguards and lifeguards know the local conditions, the water and the weather conditions. It is also their job to continuously search the sea for irregularities and people in danger. They also warn of sharks.

No matter where you swim in the ocean, sharks are to be expected. Fortunately, people are not on their menu. Nevertheless, everyone should know where and, above all, when the chances of encountering a shark are lowest.

Experts advise against swimming at estuaries because shark accidents are common here. Of the approximately 500 different shark species, it is the trio of bull sharks, tiger sharks and great white sharks that are responsible for the bad image of this species. Because all three species prefer to stay in murky water, where fresh water flows into the sea and where many people live. Another popular hairevier are the deep gullies between the coast and sandbanks.

What the animals hunt

In principle, everyone who goes into the sea should take a quick look into the distance. If he spots a fishing boat or even an angler in a dinghy, shark expert Richard Peirce advises CNN, “forget to swim.” It doesn’t matter whether it’s commercial or tourist fishing – in both cases the fish waste ends up in the sea, and that attracts sharks. Swimmers should also make a wide berth of at least 50 meters around fishermen on the beach.

It also helps to carefully scan the sea surface. If many small and medium sized fish swim up, moving the water and gasping for air, then this may indicate a large fish like a shark nearby.

Sharks may smell great, but vision isn’t one of their strengths. Not only cloudy, but also turbulent water, caused for example by splashing, makes it difficult for them to see. At the same time, it signals that prey might be nearby.

In order to orientate themselves, the robbers react to bling. Finally, the scales of many fish reflect depending on the incidence of light. A gold amulet, an anklet, a bracelet with sparkling stones, or even a reflective swimsuit can have the same effect.

According to shark logic, if you look like a blinker in the water and still move, you could be food. Anything that shimmers is therefore hunted down. And preferably in the early morning and at dusk when the sharks are looking for breakfast or supper.

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