Wednesday, December 31, 2008

JAWS AND OTHER THINGS THAT BITE

I still hear the theme music of Jaws when I go to the beach. Man, that movie scared me like nothing else…it drove my parents crazy. Here I was, a tan little local kid, petrified of swimming in the ocean.

Naturally, I got over it. Well, almost over it. Here are the facts: Your chances of getting attacked by a shark are slim. About six million people get into Hawaiian waters countless times a year. According to the Shark Research Program at the Florida Museum of Natural History, from 1820-2001 there were 101 reported shark attacks in Hawaii. Twenty percent of these proved fatal.

So while you probably won’t become shark bait, it is always best to take precautionary measures.

The Hawaii Shark Task Force recommends the following to help reduce your chances of a shark attack: don’t swim alone, swim in guarded areas, avoid swimming at dusk, don’t bleed into the ocean (not even a little, ladies), avoid murky waters, don’t wear brightly colored jewelry or high contrasting colors (buh-bye hot pink and orange bikini and bling-bling), don’t swim if sharks are known to be present (signs will usually be posted if the State is aware of the sightings), be alert if turtles and fish are fleeing the area, and remove speared fish from the ocean promptly (if you’re spear fishing).

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