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in: Manly Skills, Survival, Visual Guides

• Last updated: September 5, 2020

How to Survive a Shark Attack

How to survive a shark Encounter step by step illustration diagram.

Sure, we could talk about the statistically infinitesimal chance that you’re going to get attacked by a shark (about 1 in 11.5 million), and that the vast majority of shark attacks are non-fatal, and that sharks don’t actually want to eat people, they just get confused sometimes. We could say that by staying away from active fishing grounds, river mouths, and estuaries, and by paying attention to warning signs posted at beaches, you are virtually guaranteed that the only sharks you see will be in an aquarium or on the TV.

Sure, we could tell you all of that, and it’s all true, but hey, someone is going to be that 1 in 11.5 million. And if it’s you, here’s how to survive an attack by a blood-thirsty, okay, possibly just confused, sea monster.

1: If you see a shark, avoid splashing or making wild movements; it tends to only attract their attention.

2: Swim away from the shark calmly and quickly, keeping it in eyesight at all times.

3: If attacked, fight back aggressively by hitting the shark in the eyes, nose, and gills with your fists or on-hand equipment, like snorkels or dive gear.

4: Thrash violently if the shark takes hold of you. Fight like hell, hit anything you can reach, and keep moving until it lets go.

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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