What has predicated the writing of this post is I recently saw a new movie titled: The Shallows. I’m not knocking it as production, it’s actually quite good. It’s a shark film, suspenseful and exciting, but it is pure fiction and a Hollywood fabrication. These attacks rarely, very rarely ever happen as described. The Media and its film producers, like politicians, like the Congressional-Pentagon folks, crave to keep the public in a state of fear and uncertainty for fun and profit.
If the lead actress of a caste of only eight (8) actors, plus the realistic mechanical Great White Shark, was attacked it was because of her, their, stupidity and carelessness. The group broke every rule in the book including ‘don’t swim alone.’ For a chap like me who has spent many enjoyable hours in shark infested Red Sea and Persian Gulf waters, and even while in Vietnam where I saw my first one. I have viewed over time several hundred, perhaps 700 or more up close and personal. So, I maintain the unfolded story-line is ridiculous.
When in the water with them, often with my children,we counted sightings of 14 species during those years… White-tips, Black-tips, Oceanic Grays, Bullish, Thresher, Nurse, and Lemon and on, to include one Hammerhead close-up. If a swimmer or diver leaves them alone, they leave the swimmer or diver alone. There are however a few rules one must obey: No blood in the water, no fishing nearby, No flashy jewelry in murky waters, and stay calm and merely do whatever you’re doing when around them. (But don’t touch)
All this is beside the point. In the movie there is one incident that stood out, i.e. a few minutes before entering the clear blue sea the group notices a black object in the distance, a floating dead bottle-nose whale. Nearing the smelly animal they saw parts of it had been eaten, but observed no caution and continued to surf and swim. It’s a no-no. She and her compliment got what the deserved.
Cutting the drama in an entertaining movie, I’ll get right to the point. There are 7.5 billion people in the world at this writing. In 2015 there were only 164 shark attacks, of them 98 were provoked, and only six , 6, were fatal. The U. S. led the way with 59 attacks, one death in Hawaii, and Australia 18 attacks, South Africa 8. Still with over seven billion people in the world these attack figures are minute in number. This year as the globe warms up, and we’re in the middle of the beach season there will be several more incidence I’m sure. But taken as a whole shark attacks are rare and usually minor when they occur except of course in Hollywood term. While diving I was somewhat more concerned with poison Lion-fish, and Stone-fish. and on the occasional lethargic seas snakes.
Hey, I don’t want to spoil and good movie.
However let me close with this: In June 2016 95 people were killed by lightning and 20 injured in an Indian park during one afternoon. later the death toll was raised to 108. Earlier in the monsoon season 120 were killed the Indian state of Divan. Wikipedia reports 24.000 people are killed by lightning each year.
It’s hard to believe that about 100 die by bees and wasps each year in the U.S. This list of fatalities could go on for a couple of pages and become boring and nauseous. Hippos killed 2,990 in Africa last year, and in Russia about 100 die each year by falling Icicles. (As a teen I read a detective story where a victim was murdered with an icicle, and the weapon could not be found) Alligators and crocodiles? I won’t to into that, but I’ll leave it to you to look it up, but you’ll find the figures are significan in numbers. In the meantime we kill thousands of sharks every hour, every hour for their fins. You can look it up.
All the Best.