Did you know that shark attacks are on the rise in Perth? Fortunately, many victims of these shark attacks survive. It’s possible as more people in Perth are becoming more prepared for a shark attack. Preparedness comes with knowing what to do after a shark attack incident as it may mean a difference between life and death. A big part of this is knowing how to provide first aid treatment to the effects of a shark attack before rescue arrives. In the following discussion, stories of shark attack survival stories will be shared. One of them helped a victim get through a near-death experience with a first aid response before rescuers arrived.
Shark Attacks in Perth
There has been a recorded 27 shark attacks in Perth according to the Australian Shark-Incident Database from 1941-2019. In most of these shark attack incidents, the shark bit the victims in various parts of their bodies such as their legs, hands, torso, thigh, and foot. All of which led to injuries but many victims survived. Let’s take a look at some of these shark attack survival stories.
A Surfer Survived a Great White Shark Attack in South of Perth
9news described how a young surfer survived a great white shark attack. He was helped by another surfer and then beachgoers applied first aid treatment to the shark bite. In their report, they stated that the victim was surfing at Bunker Bay, about 260km south of Perth, with other surfers. When suddenly, his upper leg was grabbed by a great white shark that launched out of the water surprisingly. Then, his surfing board was destroyed by the shark. He jumped onto another surfer’s board after he was told to do so. Someone else paddled over to help him get to shore. Once they did, the shark bites he acquired were provided with first aid practices by the beachgoers by applying pressure to it to stop the bleeding. After a while, a rescue chopper arrived and he was brought to a hospital for surgery. The victim recovered and survived.
A Man Survived an Attack from an 18-feet long Shark
The Free Library details the story of how a man survived a shark attack from an 18-feet long great white shark on Cottesloe beach, Perth. The man and six others were having an early morning swim when suddenly a great white shark attacked. It was large and the water was shallow, so the shark was unable to get a hold of him properly and only injured his legs and feet. He was helped by the other friends to reach the shore. Since he incurred injuries, first aid may have been applied, before he was brought to a hospital for further treatment.
A Family Survived a Shark Attack without Injuries
An incident of a family’s encounter with a shark on the coast of Mandurah, south of Perth was described by 9news. The family was fishing when all of a sudden, a great white shark approached them. The shark stayed around their boat for about an hour and chomped their boat’s motor several times. Fortunately, that was all of it and the family was able to go back to shore without injuries. It was one of the scary shark attack incidents where knowledge of appropriate first aid management for shark bites may have been helpful. Especially if the shark was more aggressive and tried to attack the family members too.
Common Sharks in Perth
According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, more than 100 of the world’s 370 shark species live in Western Australian waters. Some of these are:
- Dusky Whaler sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus)
- Sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus)
- Gummy sharks (Mustelus antarcticus)
- Whiskery sharks (Furgaleus macki)
- White sharks (C. Carcharias)
One of the most common attacks in Perth is by the Great White Shark which falls under the White shark (C. Carcharias) species. This shark is one of the most-feared sharks due to its aggressiveness and ability to kill humans.
Great White Sharks
Great white sharks have the shape of a torpedo, according to the Victorian Fisheries Authority. Furthermore, it has the following physical characteristics:
- Distinctive crescent-shaped tail.
- Very small second dorsal and anal fins.
- Large, serrated triangular teeth.
- Bronzy to blue on the top, white underneath.
Their colour makes it easy for them to camouflage in the water.
They have been seen on the beaches of Perth and other areas in Western Australia. In addition, the great white sharks have also been found in central Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Southern Australia.
Great white sharks feed on a variety of fish, rays, other sharks, sea lions and seals, small-toothed whales, and otters.
Great white sharks are now protected in all Australian states and territorial waters. The same is applied in other cities and countries where great white sharks are found like:
- South Africa
The latest country to implement a Great White Shark protection status was New Zealand in 2007.
Great white sharks in Australia have been observed to migrate to different countries, like New Zealand. The same behaviour was seen in great white sharks in other countries.
Why Great White Shark Attack Humans
In the Daily Mail‘s article, they mentioned that great white sharks attack humans as humans look like seals and sea lions to them. A finding revealed that a young great white shark mistakenly identified a swimmer to be a seal, so it prompted shark bites. Similarly, research was made where GoPro was attached to an underwater scooter and set to travel at a typical cruising speed for predatory sharks. The result was that surfers and swimmers looked like seals and sea lions in the ocean. However, great white sharks are not the only species accountable for all shark attacks in Perth as there are other fearful species too.
Other Sharks Found in Perth
Aside from the Great White Shark, other kinds of sharks have been found in Perth too. There have been multiple reports where locals and beachgoers spot sharks on different beaches of Perth.
Tiger Shark Found in Whitfords Dog Beach
7news released a report about a tiger shark that has been seen coming to the same spot on a popular dog beach in Whitfords, Perth. Locals believe it’s the same shark that is seen circling the waters every day just a few metres from the shore.
Hammerhead Shark Found in Perth metropolitan waters
The University of Western Australia has made a study wherein a hammerhead shark was found in Perth metropolitan waters. This is an endangered species, so the presence of their recurrent aggregation implied water conservation in the area.
Bull Shark Injures a Man who was Swimming in Perth’s Swan River
The Guardian reports a shark attack incident that occurred in Perth’s Swan River. The shark was identified to be a bull shark who bit a man on the leg. He was then rushed to a hospital with serious injuries to his leg.
What to Do If a Shark Attacks You
Since shark attack incidents are becoming more common in Perth, it may be helpful to know what to do if you get into one. Below are the shark attack tips you may remember.
What to Do if You See a Shark
If in any case, you see a shark while swimming or fishing on any of the Perth beaches, you may do the following:
- Remain calm.
- Keep the shark in sight.
- Try to exit the water slowly.
The last step may be frightening, but it is important to do it while staying calm.
What to Do If a Shark Attacks You
If events go worst, you may try to do the following if a shark attacks you:
- Don’t use your hands in trying to fight the shark.
- Defend yourself by using whatever you have at your disposal (surfboard, dive gear, fishing equipment).
- Aim to attack the shark’s eyes, nose, and gills.
- Scare the shark by making sudden movements.
Attacking the shark may be done by poking its eye, punching its nose, and placing something in its gills.
What to do after a Shark Attack
If any of the above defence methods against shark attacks work, you may then do the following:
- If there is a shark bite, apply first aid treatment by applying pressure before leaving the water.
- Get back to shore calmly.
- Once you’ve reached the shore, ask for help.
- Assess yourself for other wounds and injuries.
- Dial 000 for emergency help.
First aid treatment for shark bites is one of the contents in a first aid course in 123C Colin St West Perth 6005. Skills and knowledge about such may ultimately make the difference between life and death after shark attacks.
There have been an increasing number of shark attacks in Perth. Most shark attacks occur because the sharks mistake humans for their prey. There are a few things you can do to prevent getting attacked by a shark and some steps to follow if you are unfortunate enough to be attacked. Learning first aid is one way to be prepared for shark attacks.