SB2k16: Shark Week
Every year during the months of January, February and March, 26 million people travel to Florida, according to USA Today. Many NC students make the journey down south during spring break. However this year spring breakers won’t be the only things in the water.
According to Yahoo! News, 12,000 blacktip sharks have appeared along the Florida coast. The sharks migrate to Florida every winter from of the Massachusetts coast of Cape Cod. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the blacktip shark has been responsible for 28 attacks, none of those being fatal. 16 percent of those attacks have been of Florida’s coast.
Though the chances of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067, students are still concerned. This includes sophomore Rania Zakaria who is going down to Florida for spring break.
“I’m kind of scared because sharks are terrifying,” Zakaria said.
Even though there are astronomical odds against being attacked by a shark people still are afraid of them. Instructor of risk communication at Harvard University, David Ropeik, says people fear sharks; not because of the likelihood of an attack but the nature of the attack. Even though more people die in an intersection, people still drive all the time. The quick death, or slow death, of a car crash is different from being ripped to shreds by a enormous fish of death.
Most of the attacks happen to surfers or divers. This is because from below, they look like seals, the sharks favorite meal.
Some students aren’t afraid of the sharks.
“I’m not afraid of the sharks because I won’t surf when there are sharks in the water,” sophomore Liam Pierson said.
The key to not being attacked by a shark, other than not going in the water, is to be cautious of the warning flags and sticking in a group.
“Sharks rarely go over the sandbar, just be cautious and watch out for the flags the lifeguards put out. It also helps to stay in a group,” Junior Eli Cline said.
Those students going to Florida should be safe from the sharks. Just be careful and don’t watch Jaws before you go.