A professional diver, Kayleigh Nicole Grant, founder of an ocean safari company, has shared vital insights on shark encounters, emphasising that swimming away from these apex predators could be the riskiest move, Daily Mail reported.
Grant advocates for standing one's ground, making eye contact, and gently pushing the shark away if necessary.
Grant's advice, presented in a video, demonstrates the effectiveness of facing a shark rather than fleeing. She highlights the danger of a panicked retreat, stating, "If you panic and swim away from sharks, they will likely continue to follow you due to their prey drive." Grant's expertise and a video showcasing a calm redirection of a tiger shark have garnered widespread attention on social media.
As of November 18, 2023, there have been 76 reported and verified shark attacks this year, a notable increase from 2022. Grant's video has resonated widely, with viewers appreciating the seemingly respectful response of the shark to redirection.
Grant's guidance aligns with scientific consensus, emphasising the importance of refraining from excess splashing, as sharks can detect low-frequency sounds from miles away. The ability of a shark's 'inner ear' to perceive distress signals in the water underscores the need for vigilance while swimming.
Researchers at Shark Lab, affiliated with California State University, reinforce Grant's advice, emphasising the significance of facing the shark and maintaining eye contact to signal awareness. However, they add a crucial point about watching one's back, acknowledging that a diverted shark might circle back for a closer look.
Dave Bader, from the Marine Mammal Care Center, emphasises that many sharks are not the large apex predators depicted in media and underscores the importance of understanding their behaviour. Grant's insights, resonating with scientific recommendations, provide valuable guidance for safer interactions with sharks in their natural habitat.
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