The Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to remind beachgoers to be cautious when entering the ocean following heavy rains.
The rains over the last week create conditions that are conducive to shark encounters.
“The ocean that surrounds us is a part of our island lifestyle, and in most cases is a safe place for recreation. But it is also the home of marine animals, including sharks, which may be potentially dangerous. Anyone who goes in the ocean needs to use caution and common sense, and to be aware of conditions that may be conducive to the presence of sharks,” said DLNR chairperson Peter Young, in a press release.
“We encourage swimmers, divers, surfers, boaters, fishers, all ocean users to exercise caution following heavy rains. Avoid murky waters, and areas near stream mouths where run-off may create poor visibility. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks,” Young said in the release.
DLNR’s Shark Task Force released a list of 10 safety tips to reduce the risk of encounter with sharks in the ocean. The tips can also be found on the DLNR Web site hawaii.sharks.com
The tips are:
1. Swim, surf or dive with other people, and don’t move too far away from assistance;
2. Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed;
3. Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small concentrations;
4. Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks;
5. Do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well;
6. Refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water. Sharks are known to be attracted to such activity;
7. Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present. Leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one;
8. If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water. Avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks;
9. Remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you. Do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing. Stay away from dead animals in the water;
10. Swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice.