Do Sharks Assault Kayaks?
This hardly ever occurs. People or kayaks are usually not actually within the listing of their favourite meals.
However you must nonetheless take precautions as a result of even when it is a uncommon incident, you don’t need to be a sufferer of a shark assault.
Right here is all the pieces it’s worthwhile to know and easy methods to safeguard your self when kayaking.
Assault vs Encounter: Which Is Which
Let’s assume for a second. If a pure killer like a shark, – no less than twice the scale of you with great energy – decides to “assault” you, what possibilities do it’s a must to survive?
Sharks are exceptionally good hunters. If a shark actually needs to assault a sea kayaker, that kayaker will lose each single time.
I’m not saying that sharks don’t assault folks/kayaks. On uncommon events, sharks do assault kayaks, however likely as a result of they get curious or confused.
Ocean predators like sharks normally examine their prey to resolve if they need to spend their vitality on the assault. As soon as determined, assault their prey from beneath.
They use their mouth to find out if one thing is edible or not. Usually, you or your kayak is just not on their “tasty snacks” menu.
Even so, the underbelly of your kayak could seem to be a seal or a sea lion to a hungry shark and it’ll come shut to examine the kayak.
That is what occurred most often recorded. That’s why it’s applicable to call these surprising occasions as “Encounters” reasonably than assaults.
Normally, you or your kayak is just not very enticing to sharks. However If you’re loopy sufficient to impress a pure killer on a pesky little kayak, that’s an entire completely different story.
Do Sharks Assault Kayaks?
In extraordinarily uncommon circumstances of sharks attacking kayaks, they mistake the form of the kayak with potential prey. Sharks choose marine mammals over land mammals such as you.
There are about 440 completely different species of shark. Solely 12 species are thought-about “harmful” and solely 4 of them ever attacked people. Most of these recorded assaults occurred as a result of the shark mistook the form of the kayak as a sea lion/seal.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen reviews on deadly shark assaults as not too long ago as December 2021. It will be ignorant to say sharks don’t assault folks, however the possibilities of attacking your kayak are decrease than you assume.
What Are the Odds?
We’ve checked out over 6,500 recorded shark incidents within the US between 1779-2020.
Surprisingly, solely 59 of them concerned kayaking and solely 5 of these 59 incidents (10%) had been deadly.
From one other viewpoint, the prospect of you getting killed in a automobile accident, by lightning, and even by canine assaults is way larger than the prospect of a shark killing you.
In between 2001-2010, there have been 364 deaths from canine assaults whereas solely 11 folks had been killed by sharks. 1,970 folks died from lightning strikes between 1959-2010 in comparison with 26 deaths from shark assaults.
You might be 44,000 instances extra prone to die from a automobile crash and 18 instances extra prone to be killed by a cow(!!!) than by a shark.
What You Might Encounter
The 4 “Harmful” species of sharks talked about above are the first motive for shark encounters/assaults throughout the globe.
The chart beneath gives a peek at what you could encounter whereas kayaking and what to learn about these harmful shark species.
|Species||Common Measurement||Common Weight||The place could be discovered||Hazard Degree||Remarks|
|Nice White Shark||Round 20 toes||1500-2500 kilos||Normally in delicate waters and near the shore||Very Excessive||Giant, aggressive, curious, and proficient killers.
Doubtlessly harmful as they’ll effortlessly by you flying off the boat.
|Tiger Shark||10-15 toes||850-1500 kilos||Gentle and tropical climates||Excessive||Aggressive with an amazing sense of odor. Folks hunt them extensively. Are likely to style a lot of issues.|
|Bull Shark||7-11 toes||200 kilos||Tropical, subtropical, and delicate climates||Excessive||Can survive in freshwater. They’re small however very aggressive|
|Shortfin Mako Shark||Round 13 toes||130-200 kilos||Gentle and tropical climates||Low||Not a lot aggressive and don’t assault except you provoke them.
Could be mistaken for a small nice white shark.
Are There Any Shark-proof Kayaks?
Sadly, no. No kayaks have been particularly designed to repel shark assaults. We advocate that you just take note of the fabric although. Sturdy, light-weight, and onerous materials like Thermoform is an efficient alternative for kayaks.
Additionally, keep away from inflatable kayaks in any respect prices you probably have plans on kayaking close to shark territory. Inflatables are susceptible to take important injury from a shark chew.
How To Be Secure From a Shark Encounter/Assault
Learn native shark reviews
Areas the place shark assaults are frequent normally have a monitoring system. If sharks get too shut or aggressive, the seashore will get shut down. Undergo your native shark report back to know which areas are secure for kayaking.
Additionally, verify the climate and wind replace of the day you’re planning to go kayaking. Off-shore winds and tough climate could make your return to land loads more durable.
Preserve monitor of time
Sharks normally wish to feed at daybreak or nightfall. We strongly advocate you to maintain out of water throughout these instances. Should you should, hold a watch out and be further cautious.
Keep away from looking grounds
Avoid massive teams of fish, sea lions, and seals. Areas inside the first 100 meters off the shore and river mouths are particularly susceptible to shark assault.
Should you see lifeless fish or sea mammals floating within the water alongside bloody water, the most secure plan of action will probably be to go away instantly.
The best approach to search for a feeding floor is to search for pure patterns like splashing water, uncommon jumps of aquatic animals, and circling birds.
Additionally, by no means strategy a feeding shark. Should you ever see one, paddle slowly however swiftly away from that space. Get no less than 1200 toes away from the feeding shark or else it could confuse you with a snack/competitors.
All the time carry important instruments
All the time hold a set of important instruments with you once you go kayaking. Listed here are essentially the most wanted gadgets for a sea kayaker:
- First help package
- Air Horn/Whistle/Flares
- Life Jacket or Private Floatation System (PFD)
- Shark repellent
- GPS/Cellphone/VHF radio
It’s okay to be afraid, however panicking received’t make the shark go away. Should you encounter a shark, hold calm and assess the state of affairs. There’s a good likelihood the shark received’t even discover you.
Answering these questions may give you heads up concerning the shark’s intention:
- Are you close to a scorching spot, feeding floor or bait fish?
- Is the shark conscious of your presence?
- Is it swimming in the direction of you?
- Has the shark began circling you?
If all of the solutions aren’t any then you definitely’re secure. The shark likely is simply passing by. Don’t attempt to paddle your approach out as this may draw the shark’s consideration. Calmly assess the state of affairs and act accordingly. Alert the opposite close by.
Eliminate potential shark meals
In case you have something fishy or bloody in your kayak, discard them as quickly as potential. You must also keep away from the realm the place there’s blood or lifeless fish floating within the water.
Even dripping just a few drops of blood within the water or fish flapping round in your kayak’s ground could entice a shark. Watch out and take away issues like bait buckets and stringers with connected fish to distract the shark away from you.
By no means attempt to feed the shark from the bait of the fishes you’ve caught. This can solely make the shark extra comfy and daring.
Flip off digital units
Weak electrical indicators could peak the curiosity of sharks close by to your kayak as sharks are extremely delicate to electrical energy and electromagnetic impulses.
In case you have a cellphone, fish finder, GPS, or every other electrical machine, turning them off as quickly as you discover a shark is the wiser alternative. The electromagnetic impulses can both make the shark curious or aggravated at your presence.
By no means provoke
Surprisingly, round 30% of all shark assaults had been provoked ultimately. If a shark comes near the kayak and begins to chew or chew, don’t interact. The shark will depart you alone as soon as it realizes kayaks don’t style good.
You may as well strive banging your paddle on the deck to point out it that you’re not it’s prey.
If the shark doesn’t hand over but, you’ll be able to present it who’s in cost by hitting it on its snout along with your paddle a few instances. If the shark nonetheless persists or turns into aggressive, hit extra delicate areas like its eyes or gills as a final resort.
Use shark repellents
You may as well use shark repellents to ship the shark in different instructions. There are a variety of repellents out there available in the market. You will have these choices out there:
- Digital shark repellents
They use electrical impulses to overload the senses of the fish so it leaves the realm.
- Magnetic shark repellents
These wearables use a magnetic discipline to attain the identical outcomes.
- Acoustic shark repellents
They use a mix of sounds that frightens sharks. The mix normally accommodates sounds of orcas or different predators that hunt sharks.
- Spray shark repellents
Sharks can’t stand the odor of lifeless sharks. These repellents use the odor from lifeless sharks and ship the shark off to the wrong way.
Keep off the water
This may appear onerous to consider, however your kayak is the most secure place for you in case of a shark encounter/assault. Keep in your kayak for so long as potential. Even in case you are thrown into the water, attempt to slowly get again to your kayak.
For this reason working towards re-entry into your kayak is a should. In case you get thrown into the water, slowly swim again in the direction of it.
If the shark is extra within the kayak than you while you’re on the water, wait at a distance until the shark strikes on after which get again to your kayak. You need to solely abandon your kayak and swim in the direction of the land as a final resort.
Should you encounter a shark, head again to the shore earlier than it turns into extra curious. We advocate you to control the shark and slowly paddle backwards.
Preserve calm and use clean gliding strokes reasonably than paddling frantically and splashing extra water. That’ll absolutely seize the shark’s consideration. Don’t depart your kayak till you attain the land.
In case you have somebody inside attain, ask for assist. Sharks keep away from teams of individuals. Don’t overlook to supply as a lot particulars as you’ll be able to to the authorities concerning the shark you simply encountered. This can make the water safer for the following kayakers.
- What shade kayaks do entice sharks?
Ans: In keeping with Nationwide Geographic, most shark species are colorblind. So it doesn’t matter what shade kayak you select, that doesn’t get rid of or alleviate the danger of a shark encounter/assault.
- Is kayak fishing harmful due to sharks?
Ans: Kayak fishing doesn’t pose a lot risk itself. Kayaking is best for stalking skittish fish in shallow water because it depart nearly no water trails. Sharks don’t normally assault folks/kayaks. Taking precautions is sufficient to keep away from sharks when kayaking.
- What are the risks of kayaking?
Ans: Kayaking isn’t secure in any kind of water. The dangers/risks that come alongside kayaking are as follows:
- Getting misplaced (Within the sea)
- Hypothermia/Chilly Water Shock
- Tough climate situations
- Low-Head Dams
- Excessive solar publicity
- Can sharks odor interval?
Ans: Sure. Sharks have a tremendous sense of odor. They will discover prey by the odor of it’s blood from lots of of yards away. They are going to choose up scents of blood no matter the place it got here from. Nevertheless, the water strain of the ocean retains interval blood from spreading.