What to do if you're attacked by a shark

While it's scary to think about, it's important to know what to do if you're attacked by a shark.

If you see a shark

  • Remain calm
  • Keep it in sight
  • If possible, exit the water slowly

If you're attacked

  • Defend yourself - playing dead doesn't work.
  • Use whatever you have at your disposal (surfboard, dive gear, fishing equipment) to avoid using your bare hands to attack the shark
  • If you must use your hands, concentrate on attacking the eyes, nose and gills
  • Make sudden movements to scare the shark

After the attack

  • If bitten, try to stop the bleeding before leaving the water by applying pressure
  • Leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible
  • Get immediate medical attention, no matter how small the injury

How to help a shark attack victim

  • Even before you leave the water, begin controlling bleeding by pressing on pressure points or by applying tourniquets
  • Remove the victim from the water as soon as possible
  • Protect the victim from cold by wrapping him or her in a blanket to minimize heat loss
  • Once out of the water, try not to move the victim unnecessarily
  • Call for medical help