It’s the worst-case scenario. You are in the ocean and you are enjoying a great a great day of swimming, snorkeling or scuba diving. But instead of being able to observe all of the beauty of marine life, your life changes in a moment. You are being hunted, and then attacked by a shark. While you may be filled with panic and fear, your situation is not necessarily hopeless. You have a chance to survive the the attack if you take the proper steps to defend yourself. Check out these tips for fighting a shark and emerging victorious, and alive!

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Prepare! Grab hold of any sharp weapon you can get your hands on if you find that a shark attack is imminent. If you are a diver, you should have a dive knife with you at all times just in case of any emergency. You should have your knife attached to your waist or your lower leg. If you do not have full diver’s gear, grab anything you can get your hands on, including a rock or a sharp stone.


Strike First! Attack the most sensitive area of the shark to defend yourself effectively. Your first blow should be around the eyes. If you can strike a blow to the shark’s eyes with a knife or a rock, you have a very good chance of stunning  the shark, disorienting it, or hurting it. When that happens, you will blunt the shark’s attack and the animal will retreat and potentially leave you alone. If you can’t reach the eyes, go for the gills or the snout. If you are going after either of these areas, your attack will be more effective if you are wearing diving gloves because the shark’s skin has sharp denticles that can make it very difficult to sustain  a pounding attack if you don’t have protection on your hands. Still, some cut up hands are better than being sheared in half.


Move! Position your body in a vertical position when you are in the water. It is easier for a shark to attack a horizontal victim than one that is in a standing or tall profile. The shark may swim away if you are vertical so it can look for something else to attack that is horizontal. Think of a dog with a bone in its mouth. You don’t see the bone in there vertically too often, do you? Don’t be the bone for the dog, okay? Make it tough for the shark to get a hold of you. It’s not like he has hands.

Don’t Quit! Continue to fight hard if the shark gets its jaws on you. The worst thing you can do is try to “play dead” in the hope that the shark will not continue its attack if you act in a lifeless manner. Fight hard with every breath you have and go for the eyes and gills with your punches. Playing dead only makes the shark think that he’s won, and he may carry you off to the depths. If you give up the fight, you’re done for, and if you quit, you’re done for. The only alternative is to fight hard. Keep at it, and you’ll come out okay. Well, maybe not okay, but not dead!