Photo Credit: NatGeo
Swimming with Sharks: 5 Tips to Know Before You Dive In
Summer is in full swing. And now that outside is calling, many of us planning our next big getaway are thinking “The more exotic, the better!”
One attraction on our bucket list? Swimming with sharks.
Okay, hear us out! Yes, over the years, sharks have gotten bad press for being one of the most dangerous predators in the sea. And while they’re dangerous when provoked, there’s a lot of evidence that they’re generally peaceful creatures.
In reality, sharks are beautiful and intelligent, and swimming with sharks can be an exciting way to enjoy nature when done right. It’s only natural that, for some, the idea of a perfect getaway involves seeing sharks up close — not to mention getting the perfect sun-kissed photo for the ‘gram.
In celebration of the television event of the summer, SharkFest which runs on National Geographic and Disney+ all summer long, we teamed up with National Geographic to lay down a few tips to help keep things safe when you’re in the water with sharks!
What should you know before (literally) diving in?
Shark Tip #1: Never go it alone
You weren’t going to pull up to your shark adventure on your own, were you? Even for the ultra-adventurous, it’s key to remember not to dive without professional support. There are plenty of ways to work with knowledgeable organizations so you can enjoy that gorgeous adventure vacay while staying safe. If you’re thinking about adding a little adventure to your getaway, arranging the outing with a reputable professional is your best bet for making those memories in safety and style!
Shark Tip #2: Turn your temptation factor way down
When sharks are around, it’s key to avoid looking like something they’d want to eat! So, for instance, if you take photos, try not to take them from standup paddle boards or surfboards. You could be mistaken for a seal or any other delicious part of a shark’s diet! Experts suggest that swimmers avoid ultra-bright or flashy accessories or swimwear. While doing so might alter your creative direction for that photoshoot, playing it safe is ultimately the best look.
Shark Tip #3: Stay in safe surroundings
The best shark excursions make every effort to protect swimmers. But you should pay attention to situations that might put you in harm’s way. Avoid going for a swim during poor weather like fog or rain, and schedule your visit for the sunniest parts of the day. Experts say swimmers must take every precaution to avoid unclear situations that could confuse sharks into thinking they’re approaching their prey. That helps ensure your adventure stays fun for you and less inviting to hungry sharks. And finally, if your environment suddenly changes, and things start looking a little off, get out of the water!
Shark Tip #4: Stay chill
Sharks in the wild can be attracted to anything that looks like their prey of choice. When you’re out on the water, experts advise keeping your movements smooth and fluid, and avoid thrashing. Not only will it keep the animals calm, but it will also make everyone involved less likely to make a panicked reaction.
Shark Tip #5: Do your homework!
Our biggest piece of advice before you hit the water? Get educated! It’s always a great idea to go into any adventure armed with ample knowledge about your surroundings, and this is no different. While planning, check out valuable info related to sharks and their environment so you can get an appreciation for the beauty of the creatures (hey outfit coordination!) and learn the best ways to make your trip a calm and safe one!
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that while interactions with sharks don’t have to be dangerous, they’re still wild animals. Learning how to keep you and the sharks safe is your first step to making this vacation your #BestGetawayEver!
If you want a head start on your trip planning or want to get an in-depth look at some of your favorite species outside of the water, make sure to watch SharkFest all summer long on National Geographic or Disney+.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with National Geographic.