Saturday, October 23, 2010


I'm feeling a bit in shock and very sad this morning. A 19 year old college student was killed yesterday by a shark attack, here at one of our neighborhood beaches. I can't imagine what his parents must be feeling, I think I would wish the shark to take me too...deep condolences to the Ransom family.

If you are living here at the coast with the ocean as your front yard, there is a good chance either you or members of your family will be in or on the water frequently. But even if you are a visitor there are things we can ALL do to lessen the chances we will meet a shark too.

I found this information that I wanted to share...

Swimming and surfing in an ocean filled with sharks is possible to do safely. The important thing is to use common sense when doing so. Sharks are at the top of the food chain in the ocean and must be respected. While no advice is going to keep you 100 percent safe, here are some tips to minimize your risk of being attacked by a shark.

Before You Swim in the Ocean

1. The first step to staying safe from shark attack while swimming is to stay out of the water during the sharks feeding times. Many species of shark are known to come closer to shore during dusk, dawn, and night time hours. Do not swim or surf during these high risk time frames.

2. Make sure that the beach you are going to swim at is patrolled by lifeguards. Having a lifeguard present and looking out for everyone in case of emergency can make a huge difference.

3. If a particular beach is known for shark attacks, take a pass on swimming there. The odds of you actually being attacked by a shark are slim, but why take a chance if you know they are around?

4. Leave Fido at home. A dog swims just like a meal to a shark and will attract attention. Make sure that you leave the pets at home for your beach trip or at least keep them out of the water.

While swimming in the ocean

1. Always swim in the ocean in groups. Sharks are predators first and foremost. They will seek out prey that is isolated more quickly than those that are not.

2. Make sure that you are not bleeding at all. Any open sore, cut, or even a menstruating woman will be like a beacon to any shark in the area. It only takes a drop for them to notice you.

3. Stay away from the channels and anywhere where the water is murky. This can lead to the most common type of shark attack. Sharks generally do not target humans. Most often the shark mistakes people for their normal prey, seals. Thus, murky water can lead to a misidentification.

4. Do not wear highly contrasting clothing or shiny jewelry in the ocean. A shark sees this quite well and will be attracted to the contrast. Wear dull colors that are of one color.

5. Avoid Swimming or Surfing alone.

6. Avoid swimming at dusk, at night, and at dawn. These are times when many sharks hunt, and although humans are not their natural prey they can make a mistake and bite you.

7. Avoid areas where fish gather, like piers or docks. Many sharks feed in these types of places. Also avoid swimming where there are schools of small fish. Sharks may be swimming through the fish feeding and accidentally bite you.

8. Do not thrash around in the water. Sharks can detect the magnetic fields and electrical signals given off by living and moving things using a subcutaneous sensory network system called the ampullae of Lorenzini. This sensory ability helps them to orient to their prey. Thrashing movements mimic weak or wounded fish, which are very appealing to sharks.

My intention with this post was to share information and not to scare. I love the ocean and all it's creatures, but we truly are in their world when we step off the shore and into the sea.
I've written about another danger that's related to the shark that you will want to read here if you spend time at the ocean, to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

♥ lori


  1. husband john has surfed since he could walk...he was glued to this too...what a sad story...that young boy..taken like that...

    our sympathy is with his family, as well


  2. My sympathy to that family. This is a terrible tragedy. We are taking our family to Hawaii for Christmas this year. This is just the reminder I needed to do all that we can to be safe while in their world. I re-read the sting-ray story and will pass the shuffle along. Thank you.

  3. Lori, I was talking with KJ last night and brought this very thing up to her...because I thought of you, your DH and now your two boys off sufring in Central America....

    You and I live with Sharks (especially Great Whites) in our coastal "backyard"....but, as you have stated, if you love the water, you can "share" with Sharks and other "dangerous creatures" whose home IS the ocean.....being aware at all times is the key.

    My heart goes out to the family....such a tragedy....

    Thanhk you for posting this reminder for us all.


    ♥ Robin ♥

  4. I'm so sorry for the family, Lori, and I understand why you posted this information. When the unthinkable happens, we all wonder how we can increase the safety of our love ones and ourselves. It's good information too. I have gone swimming just at the times you are suppose to be on the lookout. Imagine!

    Hope all is well with you and your family. My college girl is settled in New England, while her mom sits at home missing her- and she's making her costume by herself!

  5. Lori, This is so sad, I love sharks, but they are so dangerous
    and like you said must be respected. I would add to your list not to swim or surf where there are a large number of seals, as this is the sharks favorite meal. Love and prayers for the family. xoxo

  6. Lori, We were shocked here as well. My husband has surfed that beach, he has seen great whites at Coho further north and Jalama beach.
    Its unspeakable for the family.
    My heart goes out to them.

  7. Good advice, Lori. Sad that this happens; but, nature is full of dangers if we are not alert.

  8. Oh gosh, what an incredibly sad story, Lori. I will be remembering he and his family and friends.

  9. I've been so out of the loop on blogs these past 2 weeks which is why I emailed you. Of course you would have heard about this before us on the other coast. How tragic for all who love him.

    Prayers and blessings go out to the family. May he have a peaceful journey♥


  10. I saw that story and was sadly shocked at the tragedy. Your warnings and advice are very good.

  11. Lori, this is just heartbreaking. Having grown up in Southern California, I've known many surfers, and I have many friends whose sons and daughters surf and scuba dive in those same waters. This is one of those times that make you stop and remember that we are stepping into their world, and different rules always apply. I am so very sad for this family. What a terrible loss. xoxox Pam

  12. I thought of you and my brother as soon as I heard the story. Awful, awful and my heart goes out to his family. It sounded like he was boogy boarding - isn't that in shallow water?
    I always do the shuffle whenever in the water - I'm terrified of sharks and crabs and stingrays. And that story of you and your ankle! wow - that must have been awful also, but a test of a new boyfriend right?

  13. Oh, I am so sad for this family! News like that always comes as such a shock to all of us who leave near the ocean - especially because it happens so rarely. My heart sure goes out to this family! And to you!! Love, Silke

  14. Really horrific. :(
    Good thing you are so caring and wise to post those life saving tips. ♥♥

  15. Good morning Lori...
    It's sad whenever we here of someone being killed by a shark.... devastating news for the family and friends of the victim.

    I don't remember where, but I read about this attack and thought of you because of the location.

    I am relieved to read that it is not anyone that you know, but of course still feel sad for all those effected by such a tragedy.

    take care
    and those are great tips that you have listed and ones that I adhere to as I am a real scaredy cat when it comes to the ocean, but I love it ;)

    xx Robyn

  16. You are a gem. It is just like you point out in this post, if we use the ocean wisely then we have a good chance of being safe. I have had a couple of close calls with both sharks and crocs when I lived in the islands up in the tropics. They are so big and powerful we have to be very respectful of their territory.
    Hugs for you.

  17. sorry to hear about the shark attack; that is such good advice you share. people kill far more sharks than sharks kill people though, and generally they do it by mistake. Sharks and crocodiles have some things in common! xx

  18. oh I am so sorry to hear of this, my heart goes out to the grieving family. I grew up on a small island and was very familiar with respecting the ocean and its creatures and that its is always so much bigger and more powerful than you. We too have shark attacks occur here in Australia, being very populated on the coastline. Education is really the only thing we can do to try and prevent too many attacks.

  19. ♥lori. i'm sorry for this young man and his family and i'm sorry that your vigilence is naturally raised when something like this happens in your waters.

    i love you lori and am sending a thin protective bubble for use when needed for you and your family.

  20. How sad. I am so sorry to hear about his young man. I too think of how his family is feeling and like you if it were me would wish to be swallowed up by the shark too. Thank you for sharing this information...much that I didn't know since I don't live anywheres near an ocean but love visiting them whenever I get the chance.

    My deapest sympathy to this boys family and friends. XX

  21. I felt much sadness when I read of this young man. I too thought & prayed for his family.
    Lori~ I am grateful for your advice and hope that it will help so many of your readers to respect the oceans as well as keep them safe. Although I did knew much of this, I never thought that swimming with a dog would alert a shark (although that makes such sense!) Many summers I remember as a child playing in the Texas coast with my Grandparents Dogs!

  22. lori - this is so so sad - what a terrible tragedy --
    my condolences to this family.

    how good of you to post this important information - hopefully it will help someone stay safe while surfing and swimming in these waters.


  23. So very sad. Thanks for this info, Lori. I am in love with sharks (I was thisclose to becoming a marine biologist) and your post was very balanced in pointing out what people can do to avoid and prevent shark attacks while being careful not to demonize them. Such a tragedy to lose such a young boy to this accident; I hope his family is going to be okay. My thoughts are with them right now during such a difficult time.

  24. Lori - Thank you for turning a tragic event into an opportunity to educate. I'm so sorry for that family. Your post might save others from such a horrific incident. I also read about your stingray encounter. Oh my! You really suffered girl! I never knew they were so dangerous!! As you can tell I don't get into the ocean that often. The water here is usually pretty cold even in the summer. But I do love the ocean even with it's scary creatures and I truly appreciate your educational posts. Thank you!! ♥

  25. I read this story with alarm. How horrific. I thought of you and your family and sent prayers that you will all be protected.


  26. I'm new here (just found your blog yesterday) and just wanted to thank you for writing this.

    First, I live in LA, and have a son a little older than the boy who was killed and the whole thing feels so horrible and tragic and difficult. My heart goes out to the family and friends, especially the young man who was with him, who obviously couldn't have done anything.

    Also, thank you for writing the tips. I grew up on the Atlantic and the rules (and animal life) are a bit different.


xoxo lori