What Would You Do if you Were Surrounded by 15 Great White Sharks?
Here' a quick recap of what happened. This past Wednesday, the Orange County Police department published a video of what they witnessed while they were patrolling the coastline of Capistrano Beach in southern California. The scene is terrifying. The birds-eye footage shows sharks just hanging out, doing shark things. The issue is that it's not just one single nameless variety of shark. It's:
15 GREAT WHITES
“You are paddleboarding next to approximately 15 great white sharks,” Deputy Brian Stockbridge said in the video shot at 1:53 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, [at] the Dana Point beach. “[We] are advising you exit the water in a calm manner. The sharks are as close as the surfline.” - OC Register
I mean, put yourself in the paddle-boarder's non-existent shoes for one second, or imagine you're heading out to surf. You're about to shred a little hump-day gnar, then, out of nowhere, a slightly panicked voice from a police chopper starts urging you to remain calm, because somehow you've found yourself surrounded by fifteen, 2,400lbs, man-eating fish. (Sharks are not mammals. Dolphins are). What do you do? What goes through your mind?
The immediate response would be to simply freak out, and that's most likely what I would do. Just the thought of one SINGLE shark potentially being in the water scares me before I head out to surf or swim. I don't even want one near me when I'm on a boat. I even hate when I feel something nip at my toes while I'm wading in waist deep water. But no, this isn't just a crab pinching my toes, or even one baby nurse shark. This is FIFTEEN GREAT WHITE SHARKS. The thought is simply terrifying because you literally can't do anything except hope to God that you can keep your paddle strokes calm, maybe catch a nice little wave, and slowly ride it into shore. You're in their territory and your best weapons are your arms and/or paddle so no matter what escape plan you draw up, the deck is stacked against you. Everything you've read or heard about how to defend yourself against sharks, like this book, just goes completely out the window in this situation.
The thing is, even if you somehow defeat the first Great White, you still have to get past fourteen more. And unless you emerge from the first fight unscathed, you're most likely bleeding, which only further antagonizes the remaining sharks. They also know you just killed their cousin or brother too, so now it's personal. Just not what you want while you're trying to catch some midweek waves. I wouldn't mind seeing how this guy would handle it:
If this does somehow happen to you, this is what you're supposed to do to defend yourself against a shark, explained with the help of GIFS.
(Note: I said A shark. Singular. Not fifteen).
Don't take your eyes off the shark
Stay calm and don't make sudden movements
Get into a defensive position
Hit the shark in the face and gills
if you win, celebrate (after you're out of the water)
Cover Photo: Screen-grab from a video shot by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department of Great White sharks off the coast of Dana Point, California, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo COURTESY ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)