Sharks and Scuba Divers
There is a common trope going around the news media recently of using Scuba divers as stock photos when broadcasting shark attacks. We are rather concerned about this for a plethora of reasons. Primarily, shark attacks are rare. Even in years where there seem to be more than normal like this year, on average only 16 shark attacks happen per year in The United States. Of these 16, only one fatality per 2 years occurs. Most of these attacks are instances are within 2 feet of water.
While less than 20 humans are killed each year due to sharks, humans kill anywhere from 20 to 100 million sharks each year. Also, over 375 million shark species have been identified. However, only about a dozen of those are considered to be dangerous to humans. These numbers are overwhelmingly in defense of sharks.
With all this information about sharks in general, it is even rarer that sharks attack scuba divers. The fact is that sharks don’t typically feel threatened when they are in their own environment, where divers will run across them. Since most shark attacks occur close to shore, Scuba divers are typically much safer than surfers or shoreline wanderers.
We hope that these statistics can serve as a calming reminder to any potential new divers, as well as more experienced ones. We send our condolences to all of those effected by shark attacks. We realize it is a sensitive topic. However, we are not willing to stand back and let Scuba diving be viewed as a threat to one’s safety, when there is no factual evidence to prove so.