Do Scuba Divers Get Attacked By Sharks Often? Assessing the Low Risk




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Are you a scuba diver concerned about the prospect of shark attacks? Despite popular belief, sharks rarely target divers, marking these predators as relatively low-risk. In this blog post, we’ll demystify the statistics and factors that steer away from the common misconception often fueled by Hollywood movies.

Dive into our detailed guide; let’s debunk some myths together!

Key Takeaways

  • Shark attacks on scuba divers are rare and statistically low – risk.
  • Factors such as diving in groups, avoiding high shark population areas, and diving during daylight hours reduce the risk of shark attacks.
  • Sharks are generally uninterested in humans and shy away from them. Scaring a shark can make it more aggressive.
  • Following best practices, staying calm and observant, and educating oneself about shark behavior can help ensure safe scuba diving experiences.

Assessing the Low Risk of Shark Attacks on Scuba Divers

Shark attack statistics show that the risk of scuba divers getting attacked by sharks is actually quite low.

Shark attack statistics

Shark attack statistics substantiate the low risk associated with scuba diving around these marine creatures. Let’s look at some of these statistics that confirm how rare these incidents are.

Annual Worldwide Shark Attack AverageApproximately 80 unprovoked attacks reported per year, with the majority involving surfers not scuba divers.
Worldwide Fatal Shark Attacks AverageOnly about 10 fatalities per annum, with very few implicating divers.
Rarity of Shark Attacks on Scuba DiversShark attacks on scuba divers are extremely infrequent, reflecting a low perceived threat.
Sharks’ interest in humansSharks are primarily uninterested in humans and tend to keep distance, decreasing the likelihood of an attack on divers.
Shark’s reaction to aggressive behaviorSharks can react adversely to attempts to scare them away, potentially escalating the risk.

These figures underscore the fact that shark attacks on scuba divers are not a significant risk factor. In fact, many divers seek out these experiences with the sharks, showing just how safe it can be when precautions are taken.

Factors that reduce the risk

There are several factors that reduce the risk of shark attacks on scuba divers. These include:

  1. Diving in groups: Sharks are less likely to approach a large group of divers compared to a solitary diver.
  2. Avoiding areas with high shark populations: Research and local knowledge can help divers avoid areas where sharks are known to be more active.
  3. Time of day: Most shark attacks occur during dawn, dusk, or at night, so diving during daylight hours can lower the risk.
  4. Avoiding wearing shiny jewelry or bright-colored clothing: These can attract sharks due to their reflective nature.
  5. Staying away from areas with bait or fishing activity: This can attract sharks as they associate it with food.

Shark behavior around divers

A school of sharks peacefully swims around a group of divers in an underwater wildlife photography shot.

Sharks have a certain behavior around divers. They usually don’t see divers as food, so they are not typically interested in attacking them. In fact, sharks often shy away from humans and show little interest in them.

It’s important to note that scaring a shark can actually make it more aggressive, so it’s best to stay calm and avoid making sudden movements when diving with these creatures. Some people even seek out opportunities to dive with sharks because they find the experience thrilling.

Overall, while there is always some risk involved, if we take proper precautions and respect their space, interactions between sharks and divers can be safe and enjoyable.

Tips for Scuba Divers to Stay Safe from Shark Attacks

A diver explores a vibrant coral reef with sharks swimming peacefully in the background, captured in high-quality detail.

Scuba divers can stay safe from shark attacks by following best practices, remaining calm and observant, and educating themselves about shark behavior.

Following best practices

Here are some tips to follow when scuba diving to stay safe:

  1. Always dive with a buddy – it’s safer and more fun!
  2. Before diving, check that your equipment is in good condition and properly working.
  3. Plan your dive and communicate it with your buddy, including setting a maximum depth and time limit.
  4. Keep an eye on your air supply and make sure to ascend before it gets too low.
  5. Avoid touching or disturbing marine life – observe from a respectful distance.
  6. Stay calm and avoid sudden movements if you encounter a shark or any other marine creature.
  7. Maintain good buoyancy control to minimize your impact on the environment.
  8. Respect the dive site’s rules and regulations, including any restrictions related to sharks or other wildlife.
  9. Stay hydrated and well – rested before diving to ensure you’re in good physical condition.
  10. Consider taking a specialized course or training on diving with sharks for added knowledge and confidence.

Staying calm and observant

A scuba diver calmly observes a shark swimming in the ocean, captured in a crystal clear photograph.

When scuba diving, it’s important to stay calm and observant, especially when encountering sharks. Remaining calm helps to avoid startling or agitating the shark, which could increase the risk of an unwanted interaction.

Remember that sharks are generally not interested in attacking humans and often shy away from them. By staying calm, you can send a signal to the shark that you are not a threat.

Being observant means paying attention to your surroundings and being aware of any changes in behavior or movement of the shark. Keep an eye on its body language, such as if it starts circling or swimming erratically.

If you notice any signs of aggression or if the shark gets too close for comfort, slowly and calmly move away while maintaining eye contact with the shark.

It’s also essential to follow best practices for diving with sharks, such as avoiding sudden movements and never touching or feeding them. Educating yourself about shark behavior before your dive can help you understand how they might respond in different situations.

Educating oneself about shark behavior

A diver admires a peaceful reef shark in a bustling underwater atmosphere with different people capturing the moment using various photography equipment.

To stay safe while scuba diving, it’s important to educate yourself about shark behavior. Sharks are often misunderstood creatures, and learning more about them can help alleviate any fears or misconceptions you may have.

Did you know that sharks are actually curious and intelligent? They use their senses to explore the world around them, including divers. However, they don’t see humans as a source of food.

Most shark species prefer a diet of fish or other marine animals.

It’s also essential to understand that sharks communicate through body language. When diving, it’s crucial to be calm and avoid sudden movements that might startle a nearby shark. If you encounter a shark during your dive, remember to keep eye contact without challenging or provoking it.

Avoid making rapid splashing motions with your arms or legs as this could be mistaken for injured prey.


In conclusion, scuba divers face a low risk of being attacked by sharks. This is supported by statistics and the understanding that sharks do not view divers as prey. By following safety precautions, staying calm, and educating themselves about shark behavior, divers can enjoy their underwater adventures without fear.

So, go ahead and dive in – the risk of a shark attack is very low!


1. How often do scuba divers get attacked by sharks?

Scuba divers rarely get attacked by sharks. The risk is low when following safe diving practices and understanding shark behavior.

2. Are there safety measures to avoid shark attacks during scuba diving?

Yes, diver education on shark behavior, awareness of sightings and use of deterrents boost diver safety.

3. What’s the likelihood of shark encounters during scuba diving?

Though not impossible, factors influencing these are few causing such incidents to be rare compared to other accidents.

4. How can we minimize risks while diving in waters known for sharks?

Promoting safe practices like avoiding areas at feeding times or using special gear can help prevent unwanted interactions.

5. Do all sharks attack divers?

No! Understanding that shark behaviour towards humans varies greatly helps debunk myths about every dive being a potential danger.

6. Is there any role for conservation in reducing diver-shark conflicts?

Surely! Promoting shark conservation creates healthy ocean systems where both species co-habit peacefully ensuring long-term protection for both parties.

About the author

Tony is a Scuba enthusiast and has published many works on Scuba Diving. He created ScubaDiveCentral to share fascinating insights into the captivating world of scuba diving from a place of passion and integrity.

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