From Jaws to Deep Blue Sea to even Sharknado, a significant amount of the population fears the ocean because of these giant vicious predators. Sharks have a higher tendency to attack males than females (93%) according to a study conducted to look at the years between 1580 to 2010. Furthermore, North American waters accounted for nearly half (42%) of all confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in 2010.
Although surfers account for about half of all shark attacks (50.8%) in 2010 mainly due to their surfboards resembling the belly of a seal, surfers are not the only victims of a shark’s ruthless attack.
Near the end of February, a pet dog was taken off the shores of a beach in Sydney by what many speculate to be a bull shark.
Molly, an American Staffordshire Terrier, was a rescue dog that was playing along an off-leash beach along the Bonna Point Reserve in Kurnell when a shark seized her.
The owner, Nigel (who did not want to disclose his last name) said that he was traumatized when he saw his pet of 2 years be pulled under.
Around 3pm, as Nigel and his wife were playing fetch with Molly along the shore, they saw a 3.5-metre shark pull Molly under. They were unable to save her or retrieve her body.
The couple threw the stick about 5 meters from the shore where Molly was last seen. According to Nigel: “The tide was really far out and there was a steep drop where the water got deeper.”
The couple were standing on the shoreline when the incident occurred and there was nothing they could have done. They notified other dog owners and swimmers of their shark sighting.
Nigel and his wife called to notify the Sutherland Shire Council where the council later posted additional lifeguards to notify swimmers and pet owners to avoid the waters.
The council also released a statement stating to avoid surfing or swimming in the dark or twilight hours and to use the SharkSmart app which provides safety tips for all sea goers.
The unfortunate incident comes after several shark sightings earlier that month in Botany Bay.
It is important to know how to defend yourself when face-to-face with a shark. Although it is a 1 in 3.7 million chance that someone will be killed by a shark, it is still important to arm yourself with this necessary knowledge.
If an attack is unavoidable, do your best to use any weapons that you may have instead of your hands or feet. Try to attack the shark’s most vulnerable areas in their gills, eyes, and snout.
Some tips to avoid an attack include; swimming in large groups, not wading too far from shore, avoiding the water at night, avoid wearing flashy or shiny jewelry, don’t enter the water if you are bleeding, and avoid water containing any sewage.
Colors such as yellow, white and silver tend to attract the attention of sharks, that’s why divers recommend painting clothing, fins and tanks in dull colors to avoid detection. In addition, sharks generally do not hunt humans. Usually they mistake a human for a marine mammal, a fish or a sea turtle. And when they do bite, they usually let go and move on.