Swimming With Sharks

A report from Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic explains why I will never go swimming in the ocean forevermore…

Story here:

Video here:

I will stick to fresh-water lakes and streams were the only thing that tries to eat me are minnows nibbling at my toes thankyouverymuch. :slight_smile:

They ate all the G’s!!!

On a more serious note, sharks go into fresh water sometimes, bull sharks have been found way upstream on rare occasions.

Keep in mind there is some sort of bias at play, more people are using cameras where sharks roam, so you see more footage of them; they’d probably been there all along and the risk is the same as it’s always been.

Fuck those sharks.


More likely a Northern Pike nibbling at them. Or as we call them here, the freshwater Barracuda. Lake George has some huge Pike in its depths.

No, no that only works with alligators. :eek:

Around here we have alligators, water moccasins, a girl was recently killed by a sturgeon while boating on a river. Have you seen the alligator snapping turtle? Those things have a ferocious bite. Anecdotal, but I’ve heard of catfish attacking people. (I’ve seen catfish bigger than many sharks.)

I prefer wading in the gulf. The water’s usually clear enough at least I can see what’s there. Every time I get in the brown fresh water, I keep wondering what’s in there with me because I can’t see.

If you want to swim with “safe” sharks, you should to head to La Jolla Shores. This time of year there are tons of them cruising around in the shallows at the south end of the beach. You still have to watch out for stingrays, but if you do the shuffle you should be okay.

Fresh water: home to pike, piranha, and alligators. Among other predatory species. Sure it depends on which lake or river you’re in, but the same thing is true of the ocean; different areas have different kinds & quantities of sharks.

Scuba diver, here.

Guys, sharks have an undeserved bad rep and I blame the media for much of it. Nine times out of ten, they’re (sharks, not the media. Altho sometimes I wonder…) going after what they think is prey on the surface of the water. To them you just look like lunch. Nothing personal.

If you’re gonna paddle around on the surface, that activity engenders a risk you’re going to have to accept. Which is why I personally don’t do snorkeling, surfing, etc. Let’s face it: you’re on their turf, so to speak, and **they **are the predators, not us. You splashing about is tantamount to ringing the dinner bell as far as they’re concerned. In fact, when I’m diving, the only time I get a little nervous is while I’m still on the surface either getting into the water or out of it.

Under water, now, it’s a different story. I’ve been close up and personal with a shark or ten in my dive history - including blacktip reef sharks and scalloped hammerheads.


They all looked at me, I looked at them (scalloped hammers are gorgeous, btw!), I made no sudden moves, did nothing to attract attention, and… exit sharks stage right. Or left. And in half of those encounters I was diving alone.

Now. That said, I will add this. Of all the sharks in the ocean, the Great White notwithstanding, the only one that I would be concerned about personally is the Bull. They’re born cranky and have the attitude to match. Any place there’s been a bull sighting is a place I will avoid like the plague.

Mr. Nylock is correct. Bulls can swim in brackish to fresh water for periods of time. The 1916 Jersey Shore attacks have been attributed to either/or the Bull and the Great White - neither proven fact, however.

Just for the record, I personally limit my swimming activities to water that has a blue painted bottom to it. YMMMV. :smiley:

Scubaqueen, a fellow scuba diver concurs. You are exactly right. I’ve been nose-to-mask with a 7-8ft shark while exploring a reef. We both turned the corner around a large rock formation, and HELLO!!! The shark turned and swam away before I could even get worried.

If we are in their home, we have to respect them. If they come to ours, call Ian Ziering.

I swam with sharks once and encountered two small ones in open water once. Both were among the greatest experiences of my life.

I went parasailing in Destin, FL once. Little did I know that the operation was run by people with a twisted sense of humor. Once I got up in the air, I could see several large sharks swimming just below the surface of the clear blue waters off shore. I was thankful that I was in the air and not in the water with them.

Suddenly, I heard the boat start to sputter and quickly lose power. The people in the boat signaled that I was going to have to make an emergency water landing. I started coming down from about 500 feet right in the middle of the shark activity. As soon as my feet hit the water, I started to panic for a second but got yanked straight back up in the air. The tow driver had some way to intentionally make the boat’s engine run really rough and that little joke was his way of giving innocent customers a lot more thrill for their money. I thought it was pretty funny - after I safely landed on the beach.