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Shark Attack    and Diving Myths

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Title: Shark Attack                        

Author: Ian Scott

It seems as each summer passes there is an increase in the
number of shark attacks being reported throughout the world.
Some would believe this must mean there is an increase in the
number of sharks attacking people in the water. Figuratively
speaking, an increase in the population could result in an
increase in attacks and more people to damage. Realistically, it
means our shark attack reporting system has become more

Your odds of being attacked by a shark in the water are quite
small. More people are injured and killed on land while driving
to and from the beach than by sharks in the water. Shark attack
injuries are also less common than injuries afflicted on the
beach, such as spinal cord damage, jellyfish stings,
dehydration, and sunburn. More people require sutures as a
result of sea shell lacerations on their feet than shark bites.

You have a better chance of being hit by lightning, dying from a
bee sting or being hit on the head by a falling coconut, than
you do of being attacked by a shark.

Most shark attacks occur quite close to shore in water 6-10 feet
deep, on a sandbar or between sandbars. These are areas sharks
are known to feed in and they may get caught in low tide.
Swimmers who are splashing and playing in these areas may be
mistaken as prey. Underwater locations such as drop offs and
walls are also likely attack sites as natural food sources also
congregate in these areas. When a shark has attacked a diver,
the shark has most likely mistaken the diver as prey or has been
unexpectedly startled by a diver.

There are two types of attacks that usually involve divers in
deeper waters; "bump and bite" attacks and "sneak" attacks.
These types of attacks are less common than surface attacks, but
result in greater injuries and the most fatalities. "Bump and
bite" attacks are characterized by the shark initially circling
and often bumping the victim prior to the actual attack. "Sneak"
attacks are characterized by the strike occurring without
warning. Repeat attempts to bite are not uncommon and multiple
or sustained bites are normal for these types of attacks making
these injuries usually quite severe, frequently resulting in
death. Rather than being a case of mistaken identity, these
attacks most likely occur as a result of feeding or antagonistic

If you are a diver, here are a few tips to help you avoid shark
attacks during your dive:

.Swim in a group. Sharks are less likely to attack a group of
divers and are more likely to attack a lone diver. Keep in mind
you should at the very least, have a dive buddy with you during
all dives.

.Avoid the water at night, dawn, or dusk. Sharks hunt at night.
If you love night diving, dive with a group and make sure you
have a dive lamp.

.Do not go in the water if you are bleeding. If you start to
bleed while scuba diving, attempt to stop the flow of blood as
soon as possible. Sharks have an incredibly sensitive olfactory
system and can smell and taste blood and other bodily fluids and
trace the scent back to its source. Menstrual blood may also
attract sharks, but there is no indication of increased attacks
on menstruating women. Many women dive safely while menstruating
and until controlled tests involving non-menstruating and
menstruating women occur there is no definitive or
scientifically proven data that states women are at more risk of
shark attack during menstruation.

.Do not wear shiny jewellery. Shiny jewellery may look like small
fish to a shark.

.If you see a shark during a scuba dive, stay calm, stay quiet,
and stay where you are. Most sharks are merely curious and will
leave on their own. If a shark begins to get too interested in
you and is moving closer and closer, it is safest to leave the
water. Swim quickly and smoothly, watching the shark the entire
time and keeping your dive buddy within an arm's reach.

About the author:
Ian Scott is an experienced diver and freelance writer for
http://www.thescubaguide.com - a site that offers information
every <a href="http://www.thescubaguide.com/">scuba diver</a>
can use. Information on <a
href="http://www.thescubaguide.com/godiving/">scuba diving
trips</a>, <a
href="http://www.thescubaguide.com/gear/tanks/">scuba tanks</a>
and more.


There’s a completely different world underwater! What we see on the water’s surface is a far cry from what scuba divers get to explore in traverse depths. But unfounded fears of scuba diving brought about by myths, hearsay and lack of knowledge get in the way of experiencing the exciting sport.

It’s natural to fear something you haven’t tried or do not have first hand knowledge of. The term SCUBA is derived from Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Scuba divers need special equipment to be able to stay below the water’s surface for extensive lengths of time. The discovery of teeming aquatic life, breathtaking drop-offs and even mysterious shipwrecks are only a few perks of scuba diving. So read on to overcome your fears and enjoy the other wonders of scuba diving!

Myth 1
Sharks will attack me when I go scuba diving

Myth buster
Whatever Hollywood taught you is definitely an exaggeration. The majority of divers have never even laid eyes on large sharks. When they do, the shark species which they often encounter during scuba dives are typically timid and unwilling to approach, such as sand tigers, nurses, greys, bulls, and rarely, hammerheads. Most species of sharks are not to be feared. The kind that poses some danger is the Great White shark, but they are rare species which usually reside in selected areas in Northern California or off the south coast of Australia. Most will actually leave you alone if you will do the same for them.

As for the shark’s smaller “dangerous” counterparts that are believed to be a threat are actually great subjects for underwater photographers. Stinging marine creatures like sting rays, lionfish and jellyfish can be easily avoided and are not aggressive. An encounter with a moray eel is even a rare treat since they rarely go out of their caves and holes.

Myth 2
Scuba diving will give me “the bends”

Myth buster
Getting a diving certification requires each diver to take the corresponding course for each desired level. Among the many things that you’ll learn is how to prevent getting “bent.” Decompression sickness, better known among divers as “the bends,” is a diving disorder which can almost entirely be prevented. It is brought on by going too deep and coming up too fast, resulting in bubbles of inert gases (like nitrogen or helium) getting trapped in the organs, blood vessels and tissues.

Staying above 60 feet poses no serious risk. But once beyond that depth, a good preventive measure to off-gas nitrogen even further is to follow a dive profile which requires a safety stop of three minutes at 5 or 6 metres. Always remember to ascend at a slow pace, while continuously breathing. Keeping within the limits of your dive chart and following what your dive instructor taught you are the best tips to avoid “the bend.”

Myth 3
Scuba diving will cost me an arm an a leg

Myth buster
The rich are not the only people who can enjoy scuba diving. There are ways to go about money issues if you’re really interested in the sport. The most practical thing to do for beginners is to rent the equipment they will need for the actual dive. Professional dive centres have all sorts of equipment for rent, catering to the diver’s basic or advanced needs, while varying qualities and different brands come in different prices. Renting will incur a minimal additional cost to the original fee of your diving course but will save you time and money than buying your own equipment. After several dives, you will be able to tell if you’re ready to commit to the sport and invest in your own gear. Book an Open Water course with Diver Training Services and all equipment is included

Myth 4
Scuba diving is a life-threatening sport

Myth buster
With the growing popularity of scuba diving, divers now have more options to choose from. Today’s contemporary diving programs, development of diving vehicles and resorts, and technologically-advanced equipment are consistently making scuba diving a safer outdoor activity. The chance of acquiring injury is lower for diving that for any other adventure-oriented activities like snow skiing and snowmobile or even deep sea fishing

If you do things correctly, scuba diving can be an activity you have almost complete control of. Start right -- review your choices, select a reputable diving school, choose an instructor you feel comfortable with, assess what program suits you, and complete the required training before an actual dive. Be a smart diver at all times -- check your gear before going into the water, use your instincts combined with wise judgment, never dive alone, and remember the cardinal rules of diving taught by your instructor.

Frederic Madore is the founder of the Scuba Diving Information Center. Get the best information about Scuba diving and Scuba equipment.

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