People are getting worried after multiple shark attacks have happened across Florida.
A teen survived an attack in North Florida on June 30, while a woman was hospitalized after a recent attack in the Florida Keys.
The advice experts give is to not go too deep in the water or get too close to fish hunters, as people who are scalloping and spearfishing are more likely to attract sharks.
Ramiro Palma regularly dives around sharks and owns the local diving center, Scubavice.
“There’s an amazing world of animals to see, to swim with and interact,” Palma said. “Some of the creatures are friendly, some are not so friendly.”
Palma says people will typically not have problems with sharks unless they’re feeding them or hunting for fish underwater.
“Usually, around the beaches where some people are getting bitten by sharks, not eaten by sharks, it’s because they are in shallow depths of water, other fish in the area… you’re splashing, others are splashing,” Palma said.
But not everyone is worried. Cassidy Brown, visiting from Maine, has no fear of a shark encounter.
“Me, personally I’m not concerned; I know that sharks aren’t going to typically go after a human being,” Brown said. “I don’t really think about it, and if there is one best thing you can do is stay calm.”
Experts stress that shark attacks are extremely rare, especially in Southwest Florida.
“Typically speaking, sharks are pretty shy creatures that will interact with people in a mild, gentle way if you’re not feeding them,” Palma said. “The chance of getting bitten is one in 11 million.”
Still, there are some precautions beachgoers can take. Swimmers should avoid going out alone if they can and keep close to shore. Beachgoers can also check out the new apps that track shark sightings.
According to the Florida Museum’s shark attack file, there have been eight shark attacks in Lee County, eight in Collier County and one in Charlotte County.
While that may seem like a lot, it isn’t, because those are the number of attacks from 1882 to the present day. The most recent incident WINK News found was a man bitten near Naples Beach in 2007.