Abyss Scuba Diving

Is It Safe To Scuba Dive With Sharks?


Is it Safe to Scuba Dive with Sharks?

Yes, sharks do attack divers, whether provoked or unprovoked. However, attacks are extremely rare, as sharks do not view scuba divers as particularly appetizing prey. As such, diving with sharks cannot be considered a dangerous activity, although, like everything in life, some risks always exist.

In this article, I will look at the most common myths and misconceptions people have about these incredible creatures and reveal the truth behind how dangerous and unpredictable they can be.

MYTH: Sharks are mindless killing machines.

FACT: While it is true that sharks have been known to attack humans, they are not doing so out of malicious intent. In most cases, these attacks result from a shark mistaking a human for its natural prey. And even when a shark deliberately attacks a human, it is usually because the shark feels threatened or provoked in some way.

MYTH: All sharks are dangerous to scuba Divers.

FACT: There are more than five hundred species of sharks in existence. Nevertheless, around thirty have ever been known to deliver fatalities. Of the three principal types of sharks known to cause fatalities (great white, tiger, and bull shark), over my 30 years of diving, I have never seen any sharks belonging to any of these species in Sydney.

MYTH: You are more likely to be killed by a shark than by any other type of animal.

FACT: Actually, you are more likely to die from being struck by lightning or drowned in your bathtub than you are to be killed by a shark! Every year, there are an average of just five fatalities worldwide because of unprovoked shark attacks. In contrast, hundreds of people die each year from bee stings, dog bites, and snakebites – all far more common causes of death than being attacked by a shark.

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A Look at Shark Attack Statistics

Scuba diving with sharks is a relatively safe activity, although it's important to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions to minimize the chances of an encounter. It's important to note that most sharks are not aggressive towards humans, and most shark attacks occur when a shark mistakes a human for its natural prey or is provoked in some way. To further reduce the risk of a shark encounter, scuba divers should avoid areas with known shark populations, not dive alone, and always remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Although shark attacks can be serious when they occur, they are still extremely rare compared to other dangerous everyday occurrences, such as being struck by lightning. In 2021, there were 137 worldwide shark-human interactions and only twelve unprovoked attacks in Australia. Out of those 137 incidents, only 4% (5) involved individuals who were snorkelling or diving at the time. Therefore, while caution while scuba diving with sharks should always be taken, rest assured that the likelihood of an attack is low.