What to do if a shark attacks at San Diego County beaches

What to do if a shark attacks at San Diego County beaches
Posted at 12:24 PM, Aug 14, 2018

(KGTV) - Do you know what to do if you see a shark? The risk is rare, but it helps to be prepared if you plan to swim or surf at San Diego beaches.

Experts have tips on how to fight off sharks in the ocean, and how to avoid encountering them in the first place!


Tips from the International Shark Attack File can keep you safe if the thought of encountering a shark terrifies you. 

  • Avoid the water near fishing boats. You don't want the shark to confuse you for an easy meal.
  • Don't wander too far from shore. If you see a shark or you're bitten, you want to be able to swim to safety.
  • Sharks are especially active early in the morning and at twilight.
  • Don't bleed or urinate in the water. Sharks have finely honed olfactory abilities and may use the scents to track you.
  • Leave the shiny jewelry at home. The shine mimics the sheen of fish scales.
  • Sharks see contrast especially well. Use extra caution in murky waters, and avoid bright clothing and uneven tanning.
  • Try not to splash too much. You might also want to keep pets out of the water because of their erratic behavior.

  • The area between sandbars or steep drop-offs are favorite hangouts for sharks and best avoided.


Shark expert Richard Piece provides advice for CNN travelers.

  • Stay calm. If you splash around, you may interest the shark.
  • Keep an eye on the shark. They love to sneak up on their prey, so maintaining eye contact can help.
  • Stay big or get small. If the shark is in attack mode, you’ll earn its respect by taking up more space. But if the shark is passing through, you should curl up into a ball so it won’t see you as competition for its food source.
  • Get aggressive. The shark won’t care if you play dead, so punch and kick as much as possible, especially the gills.
  • Watch your back. If you’re diving, move somewhere you’ll be protected from behind.
  • Slowly back away. Swim backward away from the shark very gently.