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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Should You Do In The Case Of A Shark Encounter?

Photo shows flesh wounds of Steven Robles after a shark encounter along Manhattan Beach in Southern California.

When a shark is seen during a training swim, what do ocean swimmers normally do? What should they do? What is the best advice?

If a pod of swimmers are training together along the coast in close proximity to one another, what should they all do when a shark is sighted: stop or scream or scramble or swim (fast, slowly, calmly together)? In contrast, if the swimmers are swimming in the same general direction, but spread out over a wide area (e.g., over 100 meters apart), what should they do?

What reaction makes sense? What precautions are advisable?

In some channel swims, swimmers are immediately pulled per the policy of the local governing body. In other channel swims, swimmers are given the option to get on the boat for 10 minutes as a standard, acceptable safety precaution. In other channel swims, swimmers simply carry on as the crew stays alert and the swimmer swims close(r) to the boat.

But what happens - or should happen - during training swims, either solo or in groups, especially when there are no escorts available?

Please email your comments, opinions and descriptions of your own experiences to World Open Water Swimming Association. A subsequent report will be provided that includes everyone's comments, opinions and descriptions of actual shark encounters.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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