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Examining the Real Dangers of Surfing With Sharks After Multiple Events Take Center Stage

Published 01/06/2023, 5:45 PM EST

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Surfing is a sport that comes with a lot of thrills, although it also carries some risks. The sport is practiced in the waves of the ocean, so the surfer is always at the mercy of nature. The risks in surfing mostly involve getting wiped out by a big wave, although shark attacks can be scarier than that.

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No one wants to wake up and get eaten by a shark for lunch or dinner. Shark attacks are really dangerous and are enough to take a surfer’s life. Although nearly 72 people die every year from shark attacks. These marine predators who show no mercy, mostly mistake humans for their prey, according to some researchers. Not all species of these predators have a tendency to attack humans, although mostly the great white sharks beg to differ.


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The Beasts of the Ocean

In 2021, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, there were around 137 human-shark interactions. Out of all these interactions, there were 73 unprovoked bites, 39 provoked bites, and others. This also includes 14 unconfirmed cases.

As a state, Florida has been a hotspot for shark attacks. This list is followed by Hawaii, California, North and South Carolina, and others. Surfing only covers half of the list of total shark attacks, and is followed by swimming in second place. Pool swimming does not fall under this category because a shark cannot be in a pool. Open-water swimming or ocean swimming involves the risk of getting bitten by a shark. Even scuba diving is on the list!


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How to survive these predators while surfing?


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Tips may not guarantee survival from a shark attack, but they could prevent a surfer from getting into one. Here are some:

  1. Avoid surfing or swimming alone, and always stay with your friends.
  2. Try to avoid murky water as a shark could get confused and assume you as its prey.
  3. Do not surf or swim around fishing areas as it has a higher risk of a shark tailing you because of the smell of fishbaits.
  4. Never enter the ocean with a bleeding wound as the smell of the blood will attract the sharks.
  5. If a shark is seen before in that area it’s not worth your life to be swimming or surfing there to prove your bravery.
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What do you think of shark attacks while surfing? Let us know in the comment section.




Rahul Goutam Hoom

796 articles

Rahul Goutam Hoom is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Birla Global University. Rahul does photography and gaming during his leisure hours and likes to watch anime.

Edited By: Anupama Ghosh