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Friday, October 11, 2019

How to Survive-Research Station Living Under the Sea

How to Survive-Research Station Living Under the Sea

In Shark Station, the actual station isn’t discussed to the level that Oceania was in Oceania: The Underwater City. So, to compensate for that, I will be sharing with you the literal guide to surviving a stay at Shark Station Research Base. This is the guide given to all research personnel choosing to stay at Shark Station to conduct research. It is read to them while they are docking in the docking bay of the station and will give you insight into what the station offers and how living on it is different than living in Oceania. I hope you enjoy!

Basic Introduction
Welcome to Shark Station, this guide will prepare you for deep-sea station living. In our spacious 222,000 square-foot research facility, you will find a hydroponic lab large enough to feed the entire station, a full kitchen-cafeteria, an exercise room, science labs, moon pools, and an adequate and functional sleeping quarters. A fully sustainable system, Shark Station can support up to 50 scientists for over half a decade without outside aid. Living on Shark Station will be different than the life you’re used to in Oceania. Allow me to highlight some of the differences and how you will have to adapt to life on the station.

*Since Oceania uses the metric system, scroll to the bottom to see US units of measurement conversions for each metric one with a superscript next to it.

Shark Station lies 4,420m(1) below the earth’s surface. The pressure outside the station is 44,530.4 kPa(2). The internal pressure of the station is maintained at 1 atm. The interior temperature of the station is kept at a comfortable 21.1°C(3), while the outside is a frigid 3.9°C(4). Only the hydroponic chamber has an adjustable thermometer to allow for the adjustment of temperature suitable for the plants growing inside.

Duties on the Station
While aboard Shark Station, you will be required to perform a duty relative to your field of expertise in addition to your personal research. For example, if your specialty is marine biology or biochemistry, you may be appointed a food inspector to assess the quality of the fish caught to be eaten by the crew. If botany is your specialty, you will be in charge of maintaining the plants for food on the station. The station can only run properly if everyone is involved in its operation. The robotic staff is only for basic support, cleaning, and minor cooking of meals. They are solely not enough to run the station when humans are present.

Food Safety Protocol
All food on Shark Station is grown on the station itself in the hydroponic chambers, caught from outside the station, or brought from Oceania either dried or frozen until consumption. It is your duty and the duty of the onboard food inspector to assure that any and all fish caught outside of the station is safe for human consumption. No endangered species are permitted to be consumed and neither are any animals high in mercury or other toxic poisons to the human body. If no food inspector has been assigned due to no present staff being qualified to be the food inspector, one of the robotic staff will be appointed the food inspector.

Health Safety Protocol
Each stay at Shark Station requires a crewmember with medical experience and knowledge. They will be the head medical personnel and responsible for the health of the entire crew. They have the authority to name anyone their proxy in case they fall ill. It will be their job to see to any injuries sustained while on the station or outside it. They are also in charge of testing the water quality and air quality of the station. All water is recycled throughout the station similar to Oceania and the air must be purified and tested daily. If you notice any abnormalities, you are to notify the head medical personnel immediately.

Rules of the Station
Rules of the station are as follows:
All crew members are to be treated with respect; no inappropriate behavior allowed.
No stealing of food or storage equipment is allowed.
All lab equipment must be cleaned and maintained after each use.
No personal belongings are allowed to be left on the station after the departure of a crewmember.
All common areas are to be kept clean at all times and every crew member is expected to clean up behind themselves in these areas.
Sleeping quarter rooms are the personal space of the occupant, no one is allowed to enter any of the rooms without the permission of the occupant.
Moonpool doors are only to be operated and used for scientific purposes only. The moon pools are not to be used as swimming pools.
All hydroponics must be overseen by a qualified crewmember.
Maintenance and support systems rooms are off-limits to non-essential personnel
Only personnel with appropriate skills in robotic engineering are allowed to tamper with robotic staff.
For a complete list of rules, please review the file that was just sent to your communication device.

Enjoy your stay at Shark Station, may your research go as intended and many new discoveries be made. Remember to disembark with caution.

Conversions to US Units of Measurements
(1) 14,500 feet
(2) 6,458.6 psi
(3) 70°F
(4) 39°F

You’ve reached the end of the blog post for this week. Subscribe to be notified of the next blog post. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and if you have any comments, you can leave them here on my blog or email me directly at As always, I love hearing from my readers.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Special Inventions in Shark Station

With two novels already written in the series, there was little left to invent for this one. Although the majority of the novel takes place away from Oceania, much of the technology and inventions in Oceania are present in Shark Station as well. However, due to the new location for the novel, three new inventions were needed.

Digital Hull Integrity Monitor (DHIM)
Much of the story revolved around excursions to the deep. Shark Station was built as a hub of deep-sea exploration, specifically in the deepest trench in the sea. To facilitate this research, submersibles are used in an excessive amount compared to normal. They spend more time in the sea than in the docking bay, which meant that the hull integrity of the submersibles needed to be constantly checked for any abnormalities. At the depth of the Sirena Deep, any tiny imperfection could cause a fatal implosion. The Digital Hull Integrity Monitor (DHIM), was created to make the inspection process faster and more accurate. It works by scanning the complete hull of the submersible and then creating a 3D image to show the user where any imperfections may be. A human could then inspect it visually to decide how it needs to be fixed. The DHIM also has the capability to analyze the severity of any imperfections to allow the user to make the best decision on whether or not an immediate fix is necessary.

Another Dr. Wilcox invention! The com-stone is meant to work as an extension of the c-com and act as a conduit between it and the omniphones used on land. Using powerful wave technology, it can send signals from the depths of the sea to the highest peaks on land. Interfacing between Oceanian systems and land systems, it can flawlessly connect anyone on the planet to one-another and allow conversations as clear as if the person was speaking beside you.
Shaped like a smooth, round rock, it has simple ways of controlling it. To turn it on, you merely have to sweep your hand over it. Using the lines on a human hand to activate it, it can be programmed to activate to only your unique handprint. Once the holographic projection begins, a menu can be used to access all other features. A simple double-tap on the stone will bring up the menu after the stone glows twice. Turning off the com-stone is as simple as waving your hand over it twice or choosing “off” from the menu.

*Of course, all of this is the dream of Dr. Wilcox and the system hasn’t been quite perfected yet and is still in development. Only part of the features are currently available.

Living in the deep sea has its challenges and being away from Oceania makes Shark Station a particularly difficult place to live due to the lack of resources. Thus, the Fisherbox was invented. Food in the deep is scarce and so placing any bate out into the water is an almost guarantee of catching something. To help supplement the diets of those on Shark Station and learn about new species, the Fisherbox was invented. Shaped like—well you guessed it—a box, the Fisherbox has the capability to catch many creatures of the deep. The largest Fisherbox on Shark Station measures 3m (9.84ft) by 3m (9.84ft) by 3m (9.84ft, but most boxes are around 0.5m (1.64ft) by 0.5m (1.64ft) by 0.5m (1.64ft). They are attached by a cable and dropped through a moon pool and sent below the reach of the station’s lights. There it sits until an organism larger than 20.32 cm (8 inches) is caught, it automatically closes the trap and ascends back to the station and floats at the top of the moon pool until its retrieved. It is more high-tech than any mere fishing road ever was, but functions in the same way—catch a fish one by one.

You’ve reached the end of the blog post for this week. Check back next Friday for a new blog post or subscribe to be immediately notified. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and if you have any comments, you can leave them here on my blog or email me directly at As always, I love hearing from my readers.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Amaya Avraham

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Amaya Avraham
Age: 40
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Crimson
Official Job on Shark Station: Chief Hydroculturalist and Nutritionist

Personality Description:

Dr. Avraham has the ESTJ-A or Executive personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: I didn’t volunteer, perse. Mayor Cho personally asked me to go. He informed me of the situation at hand and that the individuals on the station would need someone with my expertise in order to keep everyone alive. They would need food to be grown and in an environment like Shark Station, a rookie wouldn’t have been able to keep the plants alive long enough at a healthy state for human consumption. He also told me he chose me for my distance from the situation and ability to keep my resolve under pressure.

Question 2: How did you feel about Allie and her friends after spending a couple of days with them?

Answer: Mayor Cho had told me about some of their misadventures and why they were being sent to Shark Station in the first place. I quickly discovered for myself why they were being dealt such a punishment. They have a clear lack of respect for authority, take unnecessary risks, and repeatedly put themselves and other’s lives in danger. They refuse to listen to anyone they disagree with and act cavalier about getting out of their predicament without a scratch. I detested having to be in charge of them, but at the least, it gave me dedicated time to work on my gene expression research while having free helpers.

Question 3: How did you feel when the teenagers' attitudes changed towards you after the earthquake?

Answer: Honestly, I was shocked. I did not expect that from them, especially Allie, who had clearly held animosity for me the entire stay at the station. Devon was the one I was least shocked about. He acted with an air of professionalism and did his best despite the dismal circumstances. I am most grateful to him for what he did.

Question 4: What did you do while waiting for rescue in the hydroponic room?

Answer: At first, once I was able to stand again, I attempted to make my way to the stairwell to reach the upper floors. The aftershocks blocked the way both up and down, so I was trapped. I didn’t know how long it would take to be rescued, so I used what I could to make a makeshift bed to sleep on. I had plenty of food and water thanks to the hydroponics chamber, but every time I tried to use the communication system to alert Oceania, I heard nothing. It was disheartening, but I had hope due to the hydroponics chamber. I worried about the others since they were in much worse shape than me.

Random Question: What was the most difficult plant for you to maintain the hydroponic chambers?

Answer: Potatoes. They were difficult for a variety of reasons. One was because of their size, but also because somehow, they kept growing a fungus that I couldn’t place. The potatoes that I was using were genetically altered for a shorter growing period and I hypothesize that could have been why they weren’t growing well. They were certainly the ones that gave me the most headaches.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Jay Kwon

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Jay Kwon
Age: 51
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Blue Abyss (aka Navy Blue)
Official Job on Shark Station: Ecological Specialist

Personality Description:
Dr. Jay Kwon is a reserved, yet passionate abyssal ecologist. Observant of others, his quiet nature is often mistaken for introvertedness, when in reality he is more of an ambivert. Scientific research sparks an internal fire in him that lights up his persona. Otherwise, Jay Kwon is an even-tempered individual. A muted sense of adventure drives him to want to discover all he can about the mysterious abyss. Although dedicated to abyssal ecology, Dr. Kwon also dabbles in other fields such as the culinary arts, computer programming, and even the art style of pointillism in his spare time.

Dr. Kwon has the INFJ-A or Advocate personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: Oh, that is an easy one. I volunteered to go to Shark Station for the opportunity to research the abyssal and bathypelagic. It is an entirely new area of the ocean than where I’ve conducted previous research and I wanted to make comparisons between the two. In addition, having Shark Station already in the abyssal pelagic zone, I was literally where I needed to study. I could leave the station and conduct research with greater ease and frequency than I could in Oceania. This was the opportunity of a lifetime that I couldn’t pass up.

Question 2: What was it like to research the hadalpelagic in contrast to the abyssal pelagic?

Answer: The hadalpelagic and the abyssal pelagic differed only slightly, to be honest. In both environments, the fauna is minimal. In that way, they didn’t differ much at all. However, the amount of pressure and lack of resources differ. Whether on land or in Oceania, the lack of research on the Sirena Deep is immense and any new knowledge that can be obtained is extremely valuable. I was surprised to find coral at the bottom of the sea—literally. The Mariana Trench is the deepest trench in the world, and it is the closest you can get to the Earth’s core without penetrating the crust. I found it to be unique, as I had not found deep-sea coral, well, quite that deep before.

Question 3: When you were at the bottom of the Sirena Deep and you started to feel unwell, what was your first thought?

Answer: [After a long pause to think, Dr. Kwon answers] The pain was all-consuming, so it is hard to think what my first thought was beyond, “this really hurts.” I think I thought that I was going to die and how far away we were from help. Even though we had Dr. Jones, who I have a lot of faith in, Shark Station pales in comparison to the medical technologies we have in Oceania. I began to wonder if I would die on the ocean floor and never be able to finish my research.

Question 4: What did you think about Allie being your designated mentee?

Answer: Allie is a gifted scientist who seems to either doubt herself or be overconfident. She needs to learn a balance between the two. Her sense of discovery is well-developed and she should continue to explore the deep. I have to say that the way she is comfortable in the blackness of the sea is awe-inspiring. It took me a long time to get comfortable being alone in a submersible, let alone something as indefensible as the SCUBAPS. For that, I admire her.

Random Question: What was your favorite food aboard Shark Station?

Answer: My favorite food item had to be the eel-fish wrap. I discovered a new species of eel that grew to at least five feet long based on the specimen I caught. After catching the first specimen, researching it and then releasing it, I caught several others. I began to assume they were populous in the deep and decided to make a meal out of one. I baked it, cut it into strips, and then placed it on pita bread, added lettuce, rolled it up and it was delicious! I even tried it as sushi and it was even better!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Dr. Antoine Gomez

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Dr. Antoine Gomez
Age: 24
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Favorite Color: Purple
Official Job on Shark Station: Head Marine Engineer and Maintenance Specialist

Personality Description:
Dr. Antoine Gomez is a young, enthusiastic scientist who helps balance the divide between the teenagers and adults on Shark Station. Determined, passionate, and understanding, Antoine’s personality is a blend of a scientific and creative mind. Fairly adaptable, he can be comfortable alone or in a crowd. Both socially and intellectually adept, he does well bridging the gap between the scientific and non-scientific world. He easily finds himself lost in his work and can talk about it for hours on end. A bit of a daydreamer, he is constantly thinking of ways to improve structural integrity underwater.

Dr. Gomez has the INFJ-T or Advocate personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: What inspired you to become a marine engineer?

Answer:  When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by the construction of the protective dome surrounding the city of Oceania. I wanted to know how it worked and kept us all safe from the crushing pressure of the abyss. I asked my mother what kind of person studied those things and she told me structural marine engineers do. That was it. I wanted to become one of those when I grew up. I dreamed of designing a material that could withstand fluctuations of both heat and cold, allowing a city to thrive near hydrothermal vents.  At the age of fourteen, I built a model of such a building and tested it small-scale. It failed when I tried to present it at a science convention. However, a gained a mentorship from one of the top marine engineers in the city. She helped me get where I am today and I’m extremely grateful for her help.

Question 2: Why did you volunteer to go to Shark Station?

Answer: In Oceania, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to build a pressure-sensitive system. Of course, you can research and study the ones that are already completed and have been for decades but going to Shark Station gave me the opportunity to examine a station that was built recently (at least compared to the city). It also gave me a chance to think of and begin developing improvements for substation anti-pressure buildings.

Question 3: What was it like for you living on Shark Station?

Answer: I really enjoyed it. I’ve never been in a place as remote as the station before. Unlike a lot of the other residents in Shark Station, I’d never been on a submersible with only a few other people. I’m used to living in a city with millions of people. Living in an environment with only nine other people was definitely a change and I found myself truly getting to know my station-mates. I enjoyed it and spending time with Max. He’s a brilliant mind when it comes to engineering and I see him going far in the field of robotics.

Question 4: What was it like knowing the teenagers were your only hope and the surmounting odds they faced?

Answer: Honestly, I know most adults would be terrified to know their fate rested in the hands of a group of teenagers, but I didn’t. Dylan, Allie, Max, Devon, and Samantha impressed me with their capabilities that they displayed several times throughout the trip to Shark Station and while we were there. I knew they’d do whatever they could do to save all of us, regardless of any personal differences. They’re good people and the determination I saw within each of them let me know we’d survive.

Random Question: Would you have used the SCUBAPS to escape Shark Station?
Answer: Although I am a marine engineer, I would say I’d emphasize on the engineer part versus the marine part. Don’t misunderstand me, I do love the ocean, but as far as swimming long distances in it at depth, that I do not enjoy. In fact, I’ve never swum in the ocean before if you can believe it. I’ve only swum in pools inside Oceania and I’ve rarely been outside the city. I think I would be paralyzed with fear if I had to use the SCUBAPS to swim from Shark Station to the surface. I honestly don’t think I would have made it.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Devon

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Allie’s Return and Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Devon Jones
Age: 17
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Red
Official Job on Shark Station: Medical Assistant
Onboard Mentor: Dr. Amanda Jones

Personality Description:
Devon Jones is a loyal and true friend. Out of all Dylan’s friend’s, he’s the most level-headed and even-tempered. In his home life, Devon has always been pressured to do well. As a child, he had a boundless level of energy that drove his parents crazy. To help him contain it, he was trained in martial arts from the time he was able to walk, beginning with tai chi. Attracted to the sport of martial arts, he chose to spend a lot of his time honing his skills until he’d learned every style of martial arts. At the same time, he began to learn how the body moved and worked. He became passionate about how to improve the lives of athletes with sports injuries and how robotic joints functioned, which led him to his academic focus. Most of the time, he’s consumed with his studies, but he always has time for his best friends.  

Devon has the INFJ-A or Advocate personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: How did you feel about being banished to Shark Station along with your other friends when (let’s be honest here), you were the most blameless in the entire situation?
Answer: At first, I was kind of upset. The reason Mayor Cho gave for me being banished as well felt a lot less steep than everyone else’s reason. I thought maybe it had to do with my mother being sent too. Perhaps he knew she’d need a medical assistant. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized Mayor Cho was right. What I did when I fought Mayor Aldridge’s guards was a direct violation of Oceanian conduct. I shouldn’t have been challenging authority like that even if it was for the right reason. [Devon reflects for a few moments, smiling proudly] I did take down quite a few security guards that day.

Question 2: It seems like you’re often dragged along on your friend’s adventures. What does it feel like being one of the more cautious members of the group?

Answer: I don’t know if I’d say I’m necessarily one of the more cautious members of the group, but I do tend to think things out before I do them. I try to think about the positive and negative consequences of my actions. However, I’ll drop anything and rush to the aid of a friend, so in that way, I’d say I’m not as cautious as I might appear to be. I will say that I’m probably the most patient out of all my friends. Waiting for something doesn’t bother me as much as it does most people.

Question 3: What was it like getting to work with your mother onboard Shark Station?

Answer: It was different and odd at first, but as we worked alongside each other, I learned a lot. At home, your mom is your Mom, you know? And working with her and seeing her as a professional in her element was different. She didn’t treat me as a son, she treated me as a colleague. She pushed me to think more critically and to focus on the slight details that can make all the difference. To be honest, I enjoyed our time working together.

Question 4: What was your first thought when Allie suggested using the SCUBAPS to escape Shark Station?

Answer: My first thought was to consider what could go wrong. I knew that it sounded like a viable option, whereas everything else sounded like it wasn’t going to work. Still, the thought of swimming 4,300 meters to the surface of the ocean sounded outrageous and panic-inducing. I still can’t believe we pulled it off. It was the most dangerous time of my life and unlike Allie, Dylan, and Samantha, I’d never had close calls like that before. I had to rely on everything I’d learned in my martial arts training to stay calm and collected in order to do what needed to be done to survive.

Random Question: What is your greatest fear?
Answer: My greatest fear? Hmm, that’s kind of hard for me to answer. I guess my greatest fear would be losing the ones I love. My family and friends mean everything to me, and I’d hate to lose them.

*Devon’s age is based on his age in Shark Station, not the prior two novels.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Character Profile and Interview: Max

***Spoiler Alert***
 If you have not read Allie’s Return and Shark Station yet, reading the character interview questions and answers below will spoil it for you. This is meant to be read after you’ve finished reading the book.

Character Profile
Name: Max (Maximillian) Granger
Age: 18
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown
Favorite Color: Silver
Official Job on Shark Station: Station Maintenance Robotic Engineer
Onboard Mentor: Dr. Antoine Gomez

Personality Description:
Maximillian Granger is a master trickster, always thinking of his next prank. Besides Samantha, he is Dylan’s oldest friend. With Max’s father being one of the most important people in Oceania, Max has always lived a life of luxury and was expected to always be on his best behavior. He clearly rebelled and has been causing trouble since before he can remember. He dislikes authority even more so than Allie, being blatantly rebellious whenever he can. Although most things are a joke to him, Max is passionate about robotics and all sorts of technology. His dream is to design the perfect sentient robot and when he isn’t playing around, he’s working hard at making his dream a reality.

Max has the ESTP-A or Entrepreneur personality type. If you want to read more about this personality type, you can visit

***Spoiler Content Below This Point***
Character Interviews

Question 1: What was your first thought when you heard you were being banished to Shark Station with Allie and Dylan?

Answer: Honestly, my first thought was what the heck?! Why am I…or even Dylan and Allie being punished at all? Okay, maybe I could see why Dylan and Allie were in trouble for it. I mean, they did kind of expose Oceania to the Above World and risk everyone in the city’s life by escaping to take the cure to land…but it was all for a good cause. Now, back to me. I didn’t understand why I was getting banished at all. Unlike last time, I wasn’t even part of their most recent scheme. I think Mayor Cho was just waiting for an excuse to get rid of me. The only good thing about being banished was getting to spend more quality time with my lovely Samantha.

Question 2: How was it working with Dr. Gomez as your onboard mentor?

Answer: That was actually enlightening. Unlike the other adults onboard, he treated us with respect. He allowed me to handle a lot of the experimentation and maintenance on the ship and station with only slight supervision from him. Even with the short time we had at Shark Station, I learned a lot from him.

Question 3: You really had a lot of issues with Dr. Avraham, why is that?

Answer: Are you really asking me that? Who came up with these questions? I had a problem with her because she was overstepping every time you turn around. She was like an abyssal dictator. Do this, do that…don’t do this…don’t do that. Ahh! She drove me insane. Her whole holier than thou mentality was ridiculous too. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with her anymore. Now I know why they call the trench the Hadalpelagic zone.

Question 4: Just how terrified were you when you and your friends were stuck in open water surrounded by sharks?

Answer: Oh, I wasn’t terrified in the least bit. Are you kidding me? I’m not some coward when it comes to sharks. Besides, [Max puffed up his chest] I had to be strong for Samantha. She really needed me at that moment. I had to be brave for her.

Random Question: Why are you such a prankster?
Answer: Why not? It’s fun. I get a laugh and other people get mad, which usually makes me laugh harder. Each time I come up with a new prank, it’s a game of logic really. How can I make it bigger and better each time I do it? It’s a rush and a thrill! Otherwise, life under the sea can get dull. Well, that is until Allie showed up and started creating some tidal waves.

*Max’s age is based on his age in Shark Station, not the prior two novels.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Dylan and Allie’s Guide to How to Survive a Shark Attack

[Both] Hey, Dylan and Allie here!
[Allie] Summer’s arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, (okay, not officially, but it will in one week) and we thought that it’d be great to share some of our tips on how to survive a shark attack.
[Dylan] We want you to enjoy the ocean over the summer and know you’re safe and secure with some of these tips. Of course, shark attacks are extremely rare. You’re more likely to run afoul of Mayor Aldridge than get killed by a shark attack.
[Allie] Or killed by a coconut or a lightning strike.
[Dylan] Right. And as I’m sure you’ve heard; we kill a lot more sharks than sharks will ever kill of us. Humans kill millions of sharks per year, while sharks kill an average of 6 people per year worldwide.
[Allie] While both Dylan and I have a great appreciation of sharks, we do understand the fear they can instill in people. As someone who’s had several shark encounters myself, both positive and near shark attacks, I understand how someone facing a threatening shark feels.
[Dylan] So Allie thought it’d be a good idea to share some of the techniques she and others have used to prevent and survive shark attacks.

[Both] So without further comment, here’s our guide:

How to Survive a Shark Attack
By: Dylan and Allie 

How to Avoid Being Attacked

Sharks, like many wild animals, prefer to stay away from negative encounters with humans. There are many warning signs a shark will give off before attacking that if you pay attention, can alert you to a pending serious situation. One such warming is the posture of a shark. If a shark begins to arch its back, it’s annoyed and stressed out. This is a sign that you need to back away and give it space. Another is the behavior of a shark, if it circles you, it can mean one of two things. Either the shark is just curious about you, or it intends to attack and is looking for a vulnerable position where it can approach. The best way to avoid this is to keep your eye on the shark and rotate in the water to keep your gaze focused on it to where its never behind or to the side of you. If you are with someone else, stay back to back to them so that you both are protected and one of you always has a visual on the shark. Make yourself look as big and menacing as possible. If you swim away in a hurry or act scared, the shark will assume you are a prey item. Keeping calm is key to maintaining control of the situation. As you monitor the shark's behavior, stay still and calm, but if the shark begins to act aggressively, slowly make your way back to the boat or shore. If you are too far away from safety, but have anything in your hands like a pole, camera, or spear gun, place it in-between you and the shark and use it to redirect the shark away from you if it gets too close. It’s important to gently redirect it, not attack offensively, which a shark could take as a provocation to attack you. Some sharks have been known to dislike the sudden appearance of bubbles in the water. If near the surface, you can slap your arm down into the water to create a sudden column of bubbles that can deter an incoming shark.

For those of you who don’t swim in the open ocean, there are ways to avoid being attacked in inshore waters as well. First and foremost, if you are bleeding from anywhere on your body, do not enter the water. It doesn’t matter how small the amount of blood is, sharks can smell it within a one-mile radius. If you start bleeding while you’re in the water, immediately get out. As tempting as the water is to enjoy, it isn’t worth risking your life or those of others around you. If you do see a shark in the water, do not provoke it by touching it or attacking it yourself.

In general, whether you find yourself on the beach in shallow water or swimming in the open ocean, never swim alone. Sharks (and predators in general) go for the loner. If you are with others, sharks are much less likely to attack. Also, be careful about what you wear for swimwear. Anything with high contrast, bright colors like yellow, or metallic silver (swimsuit or jewelry) will attract sharks. This is because it will make you appear more like a fish. If you don’t want to be prey, don’t act like it. That includes excessive splashing. When you splash around, you mimic the death throes of a dying fish. This will attract sharks because it’s like a dinner bell ringing. If you have a dog or other pet that likes the water, keep them out of the ocean as well. Their swimming style creates a lot of unnecessary splashing.

The time in which you swim is also paramount. At night, many shark species are more active, and visibility is little to none for humans, both of which makes it extremely dangerous for us. Dusk and twilight are also not good times to swim because sharks are actively looking for food, and once again, the water clarity may not be conducive for you seeing sharks approaching.

Just like time is important, so is water quality and location. Humans can’t see well in murky water, but shark senses give them a clear view of what is in the water. They can easily ambush prey and that includes accidental attacks on humans. Stay away from the mouths of rivers as they tend to be more brackish and can have more pollution or sewage in them. Anywhere where someone is fishing is a bad place to swim. Combine all the other issues we’ve already warned you about (like excessive splashing, blood, and coloration) and you have the perfect situation for a shark invitation to dinner. Harbors aren’t a good place to swim because of murky water and boats that could run you over, (let’s be reasonable here!).

Pay attention to other animals around you. If you see typical prey items of sharks like seals, fish, or sea turtles abruptly leave the area, chances are, a shark may be present. However, do not think that the presence of a seal, fish, or dolphins mean a shark isn’t nearby or in the water. Just like lions and their prey species coexist in the Serengeti, sharks and their prey coexist in the ocean. The presence of one does not mean the absence of the other.

How To Survive An Attack

If all else fails and you find yourself in the jaws of a shark who refuses to let go, fight back. Play dead and you soon will be. Sharks don’t fall for the playing dead act. For them, it’s an invitation to keep eating. Fight back by pulling or punching the gills of the shark. For sharks, it’s the only way they can breathe and if you attack them there, they will most likely let go. If the gills are out of reach, but the eyes are not, jab them in the eye. No creature likes having their eyes attacked, (think of how bad it hurts when you accidentally jab yourself in the eye). Although some scientists have suggested punching the shark in the nose, we suggest against it. It is true that shark snouts are sensitive due to the ampullae of Lorenzini receptors they have there. But the truth is that humans are slow underwater compared to a shark and the snout of the shark is alarmingly close to their jaws. There was even a swimmer in Brazil who lost his hands because he tried punching the shark in the snout and the shark bit off his hands. We think the safest bet is to keep your body away from the shark’s razor-sharp teeth.

Whatever you do, don’t stop fighting until you’re free from the shark’s jaws. Once free, get out of the water as soon as you can. If you’re far from shore, keep an eye out for any sharks as you swim back to safety. If near others, cry out for help. Whether alone or not, keep pressure on the wound as best as possible or create a tourniquet above the wound if it’s large. Get emergency medical attention as soon as you’re out of the water to help control the bleeding until you can get to the hospital. Even if you think the bite wasn’t too bad, a shark’s mouth is full of all kinds of bacteria and you don’t want to get gangrene, so receiving medical attention is necessary.

Of course, the only 100% sure way to ensure you’ll never be attacked by a shark is to never enter any body of water outside of a swimming pool. But what fun would that be? You’d miss out on the wonder and beauty of the ocean. So just remember our tips, and you’ll have a fun and safe summer.

Author’s Note: While Dylan and Allie have had their fair share of shark encounters, neither are experts in the field of shark science. If you want to read a few modern resources on how to avoid and survive a shark attack, click any of the links below: