One thing we get asked all the time as scuba divers is “but aren’t you afraid of sharks?”
Now I’ll be honest, big sharks are not my thing. The teeny tiny sharks that we get on the reefs on False Bay are adorable but there is a high likelihood of me soiling my beautiful new semi-dry wetsuit if I were to come face to face with a large toothy shark. Personally I blame it on Hollywood and shark movies Jaws and The Meg.
I tried to find out how many scuba divers are killed by sharks each year but there isn’t a specific number just for scuba divers. The closest I could get is that 40 scuba divers have died from shark attack injuries ever. There is no data as to how long ever is, but the risk of water users as a whole being attacked by a shark is 1 in 3 748 067. That’s about 6 people year who enter the water for whatever reason; swimmers, surfers, boaters, fishermen, scuba divers.
Humans, on the other hand kill an average of 100 million sharks every year and if that number is hard to imagine it equates to 11 416 sharks killed by humans every hour.
Your chance of being killed by your pet dog is 1 in 86 781. Being killed by falling out of bed is 1 in 4 238. Of dying in a car crash 1 in 107. And when you take into account that 6 people die every day of alcohol poisoning it looks like we might be demonising the wrong things here.