5 tips for going to the beach if you are scared of sharks – white clothes are a bad choice if you want to be safe

HEADING to the beach is an enjoyable experience for everyone, whether you spend just a couple of hours or more soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean.

But it is not just humans that love the open water with sharks known to swim up close to several beaches around the world.

Yet, have no fear, as there are many tricks and techniques that you can do avoid being attacked if you ever encounter the ocean predator.

TikToker and self-confessed ocean lover NYSharkGirl reveals that wearing light-coloured clothing could make you more attractive to sharks.

She said: “Try to wear dark colours. If you are wearing white near your ankles or your hands, it can look like torn flesh so sharks will be more likely to investigate that.”

Cornwall has one of the most popular coastlines in the UK with the beaches in Newquay, Perranporth many other towns and villages welcoming millions of visitors every year.

Many shark interactions are considered harmless with only six fatalities a year occurring globally (Gyöngyvér Fábián/Pixabay)
Many shark interactions are considered harmless with only six fatalities a year occurring globally (Gyöngyvér Fábián/Pixabay)

However, sharks have been known to swim in the seas surrounding the county, with notable attacks occurring in 2018 and 2022.

Although they are infrequent in the UK, shark sightings are much more common in places such as USA and Australia.

And the TikToker says going into the sea with a friend is crucial to survival if you are concerned that the predators may be nearby.

She added: “Try to go into the ocean in groups. Sharks are less likely to investigate a group of animals than a singular individual.”

Meanwhile, her other tips will also be useful for fellow ocean lovers, revealing: “You are going to want to take off bracelets, rings and necklaces, things that can look like fish reflecting in the water.

“Try not to splash around too much, it can mimic the behaviour of an injured fish that sharks would want to investigate.

“And finally, if you do find yourself in the water with a shark, keep eye contact.

“Predators will be intimidated if you are keeping eye contact with them because it lets them know you are not a prey item. Keep your head on a swivel and look sharks in the eye.”

Although most shark interactions are deemed safe and often go unnoticed, along with only five fatalities in the US since 2020, attacks can still happen on regularly, especially around Maui in Hawaii, California, Florida and the Carolinas in the States.

Aside from NYSharkGirl’s tips, there are also many shark repellents on the market that can help keep you from being attacked.

According to Save Our Seas Foundation, the most effective is an electric shark deterrent (ESD).

This device “overwhelms a shark’s electro-sensory system”, emitting electrical pulses that should send the predators swimming in the opposite direction.

There are many tips and deterrents to keeping sharks away from you, notably Ocean Guardian's ESD that is perfect for avid surfers (Grae Dickason/Pixabay)
There are many tips and deterrents to keeping sharks away from you, notably Ocean Guardian’s ESD that is perfect for avid surfers (Grae Dickason/Pixabay)

In a study by Dr Charlie Huveneers, Ocean Guardian Freedom + Surf ESD was seen as the most effective form of deterrent for sharks.

However, it is noted that while it reduced the risk, sharks still took the bait 40% of the time – down from 96%.