RISK INFORMATION
Shark Risks Worldwide and Precautions to take



Information provided by Florida Keys Best
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SHARK ATTACK CHART- 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, FATALITIES 1990-2002

WORLDWIDE, UNITED STATES WATERS, BAHAMAS, FLORIDA,
SOUTH CAROLINA, HAWAII, NORTH CAROLINA, CALIFORNIA, AND VOLUSIA COUNTY
*

2001
INCIDENTS
2000
INCIDENTS
1999
INCIDENTS
2002
INCIDENTS
2003
INCIDENTS
2004
INCIDENTS
FATALTIES
1990-2004

WORLDWIDE

76

85

58

63

57

61

100

US WATERS**

50

50

37

47

41

30

12

BAHAMAS***

4

4

1

1

1

1

0

FLORIDA

34

37

26

29

30

12

3

VOLUSIA COUNTY,
FLORIDA

22

12

9

18

14

3

0

SOUTH CAROLINA

3

2

2

2

3

1

 

HAWAII

3

2

5

6

5

3

2

NORTH CAROLINA

2

5

0

3

0

2

2

CALIFORNIA

1

3

2

4

1

6

4

VIRGINIA

1

0

1

0

0

0

1
Texas 1 2 0 1 0 4 0

* Numbers come from news accounts and the records of the Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History of the University of Florida.

 

2004

There were 7 fatalities in 2004. Two of the fatal attacks occurred in Australia. Single fatalities were reported for Hawaii, California, South Africa, Brazil, and Egypt.

2003

There were 4 fatalities in 2003. Two of the fatal attacks occurred in Australia. Single attacks occurred in California, South America, and Fiji.

2002

There were 3 fatalities in 2002. Two of the fatal attacks occurred in Australia and one took place in Brazil.

2001

** ( While most incidents occurring in United States waters in 2001 to date were not life threatening, there have been three fatalities in the United States. Twenty-two attacks in Florida waters occurred at New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, a marine area popular with surfers and abundant with bait fish. Surfers and boogie boarders were mostly bitten on the foot, but several were bitten on the calf, other part of the leg or hand. One surfer was bitten at Santa Rosa Island and and another at Neptune Beach.

Three swimmers in North Carolina received bites on the leg or hand. A wading couple was attacked on the Outer Banks of North Carolina over Labor Day weekend. The female survived but the attack on her male companion resulted in a fatality.

As a result of a shark attack at Langdon Beach, Pensacola, Florida an eight year old boy emerged from a coma with serious injuries.

An attack on a ten year old surfer at a remote coastal community south of Virginia Beach, Virginia resulted in a fatality during the September Labor day weekend.

 

*** In the Bahamas, a swimmer at the Our Lacaya beach had to have his leg amputated above the knee as a result of an attack, and a spear fisherman at Grand Bahama Island lost half of his calf muscle in an attack.

CHANCES OF A FATAL SHARK ATTACK

Statistics and news accounts have indicated an individual is more likely to be killed by a lightening strike than in a shark incident. One study covering a thirty year period shows on average that about 172 people are struck by lightning in the United States each year. Of this group there will be about 47 fatalities. News accounts indicate an individual is more likely to be killed by Christmas tree wiring or a plane crash, and less likely to be bitten by a shark than win the lottery.

 

CARIBBEAN - BAHAMAS

( Abacos, Bimini, Andros, Exuma, Grand Bahama, Eluthera, Cay Sal Banks, San Salvador,etc. ) For the 105 year period between 1896 and September 2001 there were 41 documented shark attacks in the Bahamas; two of these were fatal.

CARIBBEAN - ANTILLES ISLANDS

( Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamacia, Netherland Antilles, Guadelope, and Martinique) - In the last 105 years there have been 42 attacks with 18 fatalities in the Caribbean Antilles Islands.

FLORIDA

Florida leads the United States in shark incidents. During the 118 year period between 1882 and 2000 , there were 118 shark incidents in Volusia County, 70 incidents in the waters off of Brevard County and 55 incidents in Palm Beach County waters. Florida's long coastline, warm climate, numerous beaches, and resident and tourist recreation activities in the water such as the surfing at New Smyrna Beach have resulted a higher number of shark incidents than neighboring states.

FLORIDA KEYS (Monroe County)

In the 118 year period between 1882 and 2000, there were 27 shark incidents with one recorded fatality in the Florida Keys in 1952. (Monroe County).

OId newspaper accounts have limitations as far as recording method. Shown below is an old Key West postcard with an image a shark and a human arm.

 

 

The front of the card shows an image of what looks to be 2 sharks with human remains. The text on the photo reads,"Man Eating Shark Nov 13, 1923 Caught at Key West Florida.".The carcess of one shark is cut open with what appears to be a human hand and arm bone shown below.

The text on the reverse side reads Nov 13, 1923 Miami Florida, Dear Ma & Pa. Here is a man eating shark like they catch down here. He is big as a small steam boat, Love Howard."

 

 

PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE WADING, SWIMMING, SNORKELING, OR DIVING

Don't swimming at shark feeding times - dawn ,dusk and at night

Avoid splashing or activity which mimic a fish in distress

Stay together in groups

Don't swim in murky water, or water with effluent or sewage.

Avoid water if there are signs of baitfish or feeding activity.

Avoid areas in use by commercial or sportfishermen

Don't wear reflective jewelry

 

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