There’s a saying that civilization ends at the water line. It can be daunting being in the open water. But should you be afraid?
While the risk of being bitten by dangerous marine life is there, if you’re careful, it’s highly unlikely to happen. However, what do you do when the worst case scenario DOES happen? Just in case, we’ve put together a game plan for handling bite-y creatures whether they live in freshwater or saltwater.
The easiest path is the one of least resistance. Try to avoid:
If you do see a beast, chances are, it doesn’t want anything to do with you either. The best thing is to calmly and slowly move out of its way. Try not to turn your back on it until it is out of sight!
If you have enough air to hang out for few minutes, you can also back yourself up against a rock or coral to prevent an attack from behind, and chances are the animal will swim away. Get out of the water — calmly — as soon as its feasible if you think the animal may return.
There’s safety in numbers. The chances of an attack by aquatic animals drop significantly with friends in tow — so grab your buddies, the more the merrier.
Know the dangerous sea creatures you’ll likely to face in your adventures, both in saltwater and freshwater.
It’s also important to know the signs of aggression. While they are calm, sharks appear streamlined and casual, but when aggravated their movements are rigid and jagged. Alligators and crocodiles bellow, though they give very little warning.
By feeding, you entice the animal closer and reduce it’s natural desire to avoid you.
Many of the documented attacks by eels, octopi, otters and seals are defense reactions, so avoid cornering them or getting too close.
Your utility dive knives can be an asset if you are up against hazardous marine life. Need a knife? Click to view a great selection of dive knives online.
So the worst HAS happened…a sea creature is attacking! If it lets go and you’re injured, try to get out of the water as calmly and quickly as is safe.
If it hangs on, don’t give up, but instead fight the animal. In general, regardless of species, aiming for the eyes and head is ideal. Although hitting a shark on the nose is suggested, a weaker point is the gills, which may be more accessible. Although the odds of an attack are extremely rare, it’s not a bad idea to keep a game plan in mind.
Rest easy knowing that, chances are seriously high that your dive will be a safe one. Animal attacks on divers are a rarity — many occurring due to the diver’s own negligence. Still, there’s no such thing as being too prepared, or knowing too much in order to enjoy scuba safely.
Consider taking a Rescue course, where you’ll learn how to better handle medical emergencies and administer diving-related first aid.
If you’re in the Dallas area, Scuba Toys offers several Rescue courses each year. Stop by our Carrollton shop, call us at 877-728-2243 or visit us online!