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Sharks are unpredictable and any time you are in waist-deep ocean waters you are in shark country Sharks rarely attack people but a few simple precautions can help you reduce the already slight risk When in shark waters but no shark is in sight look out for fins If you see one fin cutting through the water that is likely a dolphin Two fins--one behind the other--are more likely to be a shark with its back and tail fins above the surface Practice these tips to avoid attracting seen or unseen sharks Dont carry dead fish when swimming or diving Dont swim at night early in the morning or early in the evening These are the times when sharks are hunting Stay out of murky water Dont wear contrasting colors or flashing objects Avoid wading or swimming in offshore sloughs or channels such as might occur between sandbars and in waters that drop off steeply to greater depths Never molest a shark of any kind regardless of size If you spot a shark Stay calm as sudden movements may attract a shark Swim calmly and rhythmically back to land or boat Keep the shark in sight particularly if you are swimming underwater In most shark attacks the victim didnt see the shark Sharks seem to shy away from people who look directly at them If all else fails try to look prepared to fight back Shark Facts Sharks ancestry can be traced back 450 million years some 200 million years before the first dinosaurs came to life The newest shark is the hammerhead which first appeared about 25 million years ago The great white shark dates back at least 60 million years About half the worlds 350 shark species grow only to 3 feet long or less and more than 80 percent fall short
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