So What IS Your Risk Of Being Fatally Attacked By A Shark?

Just how great is your risk of getting fatally attacked by a shark?

One in 3.7 million, according to the experts.

Recent shark attacks and encounters certainly draw attention to these denizens of the deep. Sharks are fascinating creatures and downright scary for many people.

For a few people, sharks are dangerous, causing injury or even death.

The Florida Museum of Natural History has compiled data analyzing your risk of being fatally attacked by a shark.

You actually have a much greater chance of being killed by lightning, dying in a train crash or losing your life in a fireworks incident.

Lightning fatality: 1 in 79,746
Train crash fatality: 1 in 156,169
Fireworks fatality: 1 in 340,733
Shark attack fatality: 1 in 3,748,067

And get this: If you plan to stay out of the water on your next beach trip, digging a sand hole and sitting in it is not a safer use of your time.

From 1990 to 2006, 16 people died in collapsing sand hole incidents. During that same period of time, 11 people died from shark attacks.

From 2001 to 2010, 263 people died in the U.S. from dog attacks. Ten people died of shark attacks during that same time frame.

All the statistics and shark information above is from the Florida Museum of Natural History. You can click on the link below to read more.

The website also has a list of how to reduce your risk even more:

•Always stay in groups since sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
•Do not wander too far from shore --- this isolates an individual and additionally places one far away from assistance.
•Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and have a competitive sensory advantage.
•Do not enter the water if bleeding from an open wound or if menstruating --- a shark's olfactory ability is acute.
•Wearing shiny jewelry is discouraged because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales.
•Avoid waters with known effluents or sewage and those being used by sport or commercial fisherman, especially if there are signs of bait fishes or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such action.
•Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks --- both often eat the same food items.
•Use extra caution when waters are murky and avoid uneven tanning and bright colored clothing --- sharks see contrast particularly well.
•Refrain from excess splashing and do not allow pets in the water because of their erratic movements.
•Exercise caution when occupying the area between sandbars or near steep dropoffs --- these are favorite hangouts for sharks.
•Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and evacuate the water if sharks are seen while there. And, of course, do not harass a shark if you see one!
Source: Florida Natural Museum of History


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Surfer Girl Catherine Location: New Jersey-Long Beach Island on Aug 20, 2011 at 08:19 AM
    I have a question-how does a shark wonder into Long Beach Island? I mean our waters are sometimes cold so why would a shark wonder into our waters?
  • by Surfer Girl Catherine Location: New Jersey-Long Beach Island on Aug 20, 2011 at 04:28 AM
    Hey peoples i'm just going to say something they missed:If you have a cut and go in the ocean be really careful 'cause sharks are atracted to blood
  • by Surfer Girl Catherine Location: USA NJ on Aug 19, 2011 at 07:07 PM
    Guess what?! I saw a shark in the water at LBI in NJ where i live and all i saw was the fin and tail fin and my cosin saw it 2 and the lifegard AND a few other people so the lifegard whistled and everyone ran out of the water..... Then a few min. later the lifegard put on the yellow flag (yellow flag means we can swim but be really careful) and everyone was to scared but then a 2 guys were carying a girl then they thur her in the water so i started to go back in.... i'm still scared 'cause i'm like 10 and i don't wanna be bit!!! ok so on with the story - i was a little scared at first but then my cosin said not 2 be scared so i went back in with him :) Still scared here!
  • by Surfer Girl Catherine Location: USA NJ on Aug 19, 2011 at 04:37 AM
    Sharks scare me and some of my cosins know that so they grab my leg and pull me off my boggie-board sooooo I get scared and once I almost screamed...If your laughing right now then IT'S NOT FUNNY!!!! I know my chances of getting bit by a shark is almost nothing but i'm still scared!! But I still go out in the ocean and play on my boggie-board! :) :)
  • by Sam Location: Kitty Hawk on Aug 1, 2011 at 06:12 AM
    Sharks don't scare me one bit. I just like to go out on the surfboard and get the waves. Other than that, when fishing, I don't go after the sharks either.
  • by PhoneJack Location: G-Vegas on Jul 24, 2011 at 08:56 AM
    That's why they have swimming pools at the Beach.If yew go into unknown waters expect the worst.the worst could happen in a pool is someone Pee in the pool or see a turd float by but no Sharks. Go Figure
  • by Shark Supporter on Jul 23, 2011 at 09:36 PM
    Bottomline is this, You play in the ocean you take a risk of many things happening, drowning by rip currents,jellyfish stinging you, monareys(sorry for the spelling)barbing you or a shark having lunch off a lower limb of whoever is swimming, not to mention the waste that is dumped out of all the ships that are sailing the big wide ocean. Remember the year all the medical waste was found on the beaches, needles and other stuff, Its not just the nc beaches, its everywhere, Come on it shouldnt take scientist to figure out, you shouldnt go in the water, all that nasty fish poop going in your childs mouth, along with them stepping on all grades of stuff with their bare feet , stuff that has live bacteria on it, from dead fish and waste dumped in the ocean, Buy a swimming pool, or just lay out on the beach and play in the hotel pool, Remember this , the ocean and its life was here before man as we know him, Respect it and it will let you live, Be stupid or it can kill you or someone you love, plain and simple
  • by rl Location: bear grass on Jul 22, 2011 at 02:25 PM
    A whole lot less than the chances of having an encounter with a THUG or a POS (same thing) in enc. Yea not just greenville, kinston, rocky mt. I mean ENC
  • by Al Location: Florida on Jul 22, 2011 at 02:01 PM
    It is great to see many people can see the stats coming from ISAF are bogus. You have no chance of being attacked if you never go in the ocean. But the ISAF thinks everyone is stupid. In this case it seems only an investigative reporter is foolish enough to use them as a source of attack info. Al
  • by Surfer aka fish bait Location: Bobbing around the surf on Jul 22, 2011 at 01:21 PM
    They missed a couple: * Don't pee in the water. Fish can sense any bodily fluid from long distances. * Avoid the mouth of rivers or streams, especially after a heavy rain. Sharks aren't particularly smart (their brain is the size of your thumb) but what they lack in smarts they make up for in sensory glands. They are extremely sensitive to water movements and bodily fluids of any kind.
    • reply
      by Surfer Girl Catherine on Aug 19, 2011 at 04:44 AM in reply to Surfer aka fish bait
      Thanks for telling me that - I'm going to need that one day! :) I'm scared of sharks and one day i'm going to study them!
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