how to survive a shark attack
Survival Tips Wildlife

How to Survive a Shark Attack

How to Defend Against a Shark to Ensure you Survive?

Here are the instructions of how to defend against (and survive) a shark attack in the open water. There you are. You’re at the beach with your buddies and the temperature is perfect. You don’t have a care in the world. You dive into the water and head out to more open seas. Maybe you are on your surfboard so you can rest while swimming and try to catch a big wave back to shore.

Then the unthinkable happens. You notice the fin first. That’s definitely a shark you assume. You have never seen a shark up close like this one, but if the movies depicted the predator right – this is one right here and right now. You hop on your surfboard for a better look and to get your body out of the water before the beast comes any closer. What do you do now?

First of all, make sure you keep your eyes on the shark. You need to be able to see the shark and judge his proximity to yourself. They can move quickly so its imperative to watch the fish or the fin. It’s also a good time to begin heading back to shore. Swim slowly and backward so you can keep your eyes on the prize.

Most sharks will still vanish without hurting anyone but if he doesn’t just keep slowly working yourself toward the shore or a boat if you have one closer to you then the shore. Be aware – you can not outswim a shark so don’t get into a chase with the maniac.

How to Survive a Shark Attack

If the shark does attack, you must overcome your natural instincts to flight when the fight or flight feeling creeps in. You must stand your ground. Hit the shark in the gills and face. Focus on his eyes and snout. Those are very sensitive spots on a shark. Your very survival depends on it. Your life is truly on the line when a shark is actively attacking you.

Hit him with all the force you can muster, and he may get tired of trying to fight back and swim away. It’s kill or be killed and this is the time you need to summon all of your strength to have the best chance of winning when a shark attacks you. If it goes this far, you are likely to have injuries from the encounter.

If he does swim away, you still need to get to shore or to a boat so that you can have your injuries looked over. Don’t stop to check yourself over. Some sharks will go away for a moment to regroup and then come back to finish the fight in a few moments.

If the shark does return, commence to punching the shark again in the fins and in the nose. Hopefully, he gives up before you gain any critical injuries. If they come back a second time – they are more likely to stick around for a longer time than the first time around. You must fight in order to survive and now you must fight harder than ever.

Once you do get away from the shark, seek medical attention as soon as possible as you are likely to have some pretty bad wounds. Once you get to a hospital or some other type of medical refuge – then you can rest and recap the incident in your mind. It is a crazy thing to be attacked. After all, it’s more likely that you get struck by a meteor falling from the sky or struck by lightning than to suffer the trauma of a shark attack.


What Kind of Sharks Normally Attack Humans?

Wikipedia posts that there are 489 species of sharks known in the world. Out of these sharks, only 3 types are accountable for almost every human encounter. The three shark types you need to beware of are white sharks, bull sharks, and tiger sharks. Also, note that sharks outdate humankind by millions of years. Because of this, humans are not in their instinctive diets.

Sharks normally attack when they are confused or exploring. More than likely they are just swimming to a human splashing in the water out of sheer curiosity. They are not threatened until they get very close in proximity to you and even then they will mostly turn around and head elsewhere if you just stay still and not move around a whole lot.

Where are Shark Attacks Most Common?

Here are the places that shark attacks happen the most. If you are going to or live in these areas you should try to be extra careful about swimming in the ocean. Take a buddy with you always so if you are attacked, there is someone there to help. These places have beautiful beaches and water clear as a piece of glass. That makes them automatic tourist areas so just be on your guard if you visit. Here are the top 5 areas you can get attacked by a shark.

Gansbaai, South Africa: aka “Shark Alley”

This is the most over populated area we are going to mention. It is so popular with the sharks that the residents there offer “Shark Tours”. This includes watching from a boat to stay safe and going deep inside the ocean in a steel cage so you can see the sharks live and up close.

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

This is the shark attack capital of the world. While the sharks are much fewer than in Gansbaai, they seem to be more interested in humans and attack at a much larger rate than anywhere else in the world. This is a place where you will find the tiger sharks at, and they are one of the three species that do account for all human attacks.

Makena Beach, Maui

Well known for its population of the infamous tiger shark, this is another dangerous place to go swimming. You must be careful because unlike the other breeds of sharks, tiger sharks swim in shallow water. You may not even know there is a shark there until he is just under your swimming area.

Bolinas, California

38% of all shark attacks in the USA happen here, and they are also accountable for 11% of all attacks world wide. Here the main predator is the white shark. They will attack surfers with no advance notice.

Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua

This is a little different of a location because as the heading says – its a lake. Yup, you read that right. This is a freshwater environment where for some unknown reason, some sharks have adapted over time and can flourish in the lake. They attack humans just as quickly as the others, so beware.


What are the Statistics of Shark Attacks?

1958 to 2016 – 2785 unprovoked shark attacks and 439 fatalities worldwide.

2017 – 88 reported unprovoked shark attacks and five fatalities worldwide.

2018 – 101 reported unprovoked shark attacks and fourteen fatalities worldwide.

2019As of May 15th, 2019 – 29 reported unprovoked shark attacks and two fatalities worldwide.

Summary of Content:

In conclusion of this reading, what did we learn? Well, we learned where and how many attacks occur every year. We learned how to defend ourselves properly in the event of a rare, but deadly shark attack. We even learned how to handle a shark that comes nipping at our heels.

I hope that you will find this information valuable and it helps you to rest easy about the chances of actually being in an attack by an angry or curious shark. All that said, make your travel plans and don’t let sharks come in the way of the places you and your family want to visit. Stay diligent during the time in the water, whether you are deep in the waves or close to the shore. An attack could happen any time and anywhere. However, the chances of it happening to you are next to nothing.

What are your thoughts on shark attacks now that you have all the facts? Answer in the comment section below, and be sure to subscribe to my emails where we notify you every time a new post is out. In the meanwhile, take care of yourself.

Kenneth E. Sweet Jr.
Kenneth E. Sweet Jr. is a published author of many blogs, website content and more. He is an active YouTuber, father of 2 and Wizard in training. You can follow his personal survival blog over at