As we enter the twilight of the summer months, it’s now only a matter of time until I’m inevitably attacked by a shark. It’s unavoidable at this point. A shark spots me in the ocean and he’s gonna think one of two things (all sharks are boys and you can’t convince me otherwise):
- He’ll view me as food, and honestly who can blame him? I look thiccc as shit in my swim trunks, and the salt water marinates my tender skin in a manner that would make Bobby Flay kill himself. That, combined with the sun turning me into a human crock pot, adds up to me looking like a full Thanksgiving Dinner to a shark.
- He’ll view me as the credible threat I am to take over his reign as deadliest creature in the ocean, and attack accordingly. Once again, I can see where he’s coming from. Have you seen me swim? My stroke is the perfect cross between doggy paddle and doggy style. Both of which I learned from my dad. And don’t even start me on how long I can hold my breath underwater. My lungs are busty as shit. Just a pair of straight all-American rockets. Anyone who’s ever been in a pool with me knows how much of an asset I am in a game of sharks in minnows. I look like Helen Keller on HGH whenever I play Marco Polo. So yea, a shark’s gonna see me, and immediately realize he’s not the only aquatic bad boy.
Anyway, I looked online for some pointers on how to survive this inevitable encounter, and what I found was a WikiHow article, which is quite possibly the worst advice ever written:
It lists three different methods, the first being “playing defense”. Already I hate it. Not trying to get in a pitchers duel with a great white.
Do not take your eyes off the shark. Sharks have several different attack methods. Sometimes they swim right up and charge, sometimes they circle for a while before lunging, and sometimes they sneak up from behind for a surprise attack. To be able to defend against the shark, you must know where it is, so make every effort to watch the animal, even as you are working out your escape.
I don’t think giving a shark sex eyes is the answer here. I do that and next thing I know he’s calling us an Uber to his place. Fool me once..
Stay calm and do not make sudden movements. When you first spot the shark, chances are it will swim away without bothering you. You cannot out-swim a shark, so trying to sprint to safety may not be your best option, unless you are already very close to shore. It is important to keep your wits about you, so you can continuously appraise the situation and figure out how to get to safety.
I’ll be honest there’s still a small part of me that’s 1000% confident that I could out-swim a shark. I have arms, sharks don’t. That makes absolute complete sense in my head, and I cannot be convinced otherwise.
Move slowly toward the shore or a boat; choose whichever is closest. Do not thrash your arms or kick or splash while you swim. Do not block the shark’s path. If you are standing between the shark and the open ocean, move away. Do not turn your back on the shark as you move. Remember, it is important to keep the shark in view.
Don’t turn my back on the shark as I move? You want me to backstroke my way to safety? That’s just asking for the shark to mount me.
Get into a defensive position. If you cannot get out of the water right away, try to reduce the shark’s possible angles of attack. If you are in shallow enough water, keep your feet on the ground. Slowly back up against a reef, piling, or rock outcropping or any solid obstruction so that the shark cannot circle around behind you. This way you only have to defend attacks in front of you.
Now you want me to guard the shark 1v1? Are we calling our own fouls at this point? I’m not sure the best way to survive a shark attack is by forcing him to go left.
Then we get to method two, which is “Fighting the Shark”. Now we’re talking my language.
Hit the shark in the face and gills. Your best bet, if attacked, is to make the shark see you as a strong, credible threat. Usually, a hard blow to the shark’s gills, eyes or snout (end of its nose) will cause it to retreat. These are really the only vulnerable areas on a shark.
As much as I’m down for squaring up with a shark and going the full 13 rounds, anyone with a brain knows it’s impossible to punch underwater. That’s why I always looked forward to pool parties in middle school. It was the only time I was safe from getting sack whacked. Also cold pool = smaller target. Aim small miss small.
With that said, I am confident that I could take out a shark via a choke hold. I’m fairly certain that since sharks don’t have arms, once you get him in a solid headlock, he has no way of getting out of it. Also you have to remember sharks have never seen pro wrestling, so any of those maneuvers would take them by surprise. “Oh but Tim, wrestling’s fake”. Yea, but the sharks don’t know that.
If you have a spear gun or pole, use it! A sharp object is a good way to inflict enough pain to scare away the shark. Aim for the head, specifically the eyes or the gills.
Okay perfect. Next time I go to the beach I’ll make sure to pack my trident. Thanks, Captain Ahab.
Method three is “Escaping and Getting Help”, or as I would have called it, “Step One”.
Get out of the water. Even if the shark swims away, you are not truly safe until you are out of the water. Sharks may leave temporarily and then come back to continue the attack. Get back to shore or back on the boat as quickly as possible.
Once again, I feel like getting out of water should be mentioned a bit earlier in the guide. Probably the first thing, actually. At least before I was told to sucker punch a deadly animal.
Lastly, throughout the guide, it reinforces how during this entire shark attack saga, you should refrain from peeing your pants. I’ll be honest peeing my pants will probably be the first, and realistically, the only thing I’ll do during an attack. I instinctively pee in the ocean even when I’m not being attacked by a shark, so I don’t think it’s a habit worth kicking.
In all, it looks my shark attack death in inescapable. Whatever. I’d rather die with a shark than make love with a whale. Both of which are situations that could easily be avoided if I didn’t drink so much.