When Tiger Sharks Attack

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Surfing & diving in the open ocean can be dangerous, because tiger sharks don’t only attack dolphins. Here’s what happens when you encounter a tiger shark.

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What Is It?
The tiger shark is one of the largest shark species on Earth, second only to the great white. It’s the only member of the Galeocerdo genus and draws its common name from the dark vertical stripes on its back, similar to those on a tiger. It can reach lengths of up to 18 feet and weigh close to 2,000 pounds. Tiger sharks have a reputation for eating anything, including items thrown away by humans like oil cans, tires or license plates.
Number 4 Dylan McWilliams
The 20-year-old was body boarding when something hit his leg. As he looked in the water, he saw a shark underneath him. He started kicking the shark repeatedly and swam to shore as quickly as he could.
Where Is It Located?
Tiger sharks prefer temperate and tropical waters, particularly around islands in the central Pacific. They tend to follow warm currents and their behavior is generally nomadic. They mostly stick to deep waters but will move into shallower channels, in order to pursue prey. Tiger sharks can be seen in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, coastal parts of the Americas as well as off Australia, Africa, India or Indonesia.
Number 3 Sailor
In 2010, investment banker Humphrey Simmons and a few of his friends were on a fishing trip in the Bahamas. Simmons was fishing for grouper but caught a heavy tiger shark on his line. He said that it was roughly half the size of the boat.
These elements, combined with its size and strength, mean it would make quick work of you. Tiger sharks may appear sluggish, but they’re among the strongest swimmers of their kind. Tiger sharks can even hunt in conditions of low visibility by picking up the vibrations made by their prey in the water.
Number 2 Jordan Lindsey
At the time, the young woman was snorkeling with her mother, Kami, in the Bahamas. The rest of her family and her girlfriend were on the same trip but on another part of the island. The last thing Jordan said to her mother reportedly was “Mom, there’s another shark coming”.
A tiger shark will typically start circling you before. Maintain eye contact, as you need to know which way they will come from. Don’t try to swim away, unless you’re very close to the shore or a boat. Your next priority is getting out of the water.
Number 1 Bethany Hamilton
Only 13 at the time, Hamilton was out on a morning surf along a beach on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. She was with her best friend and fellow surfer Alana Blanchard and her family. While in the water, Hamilton felt a tug on her board and knew right away what was happening. Within a month Hamilton was back on a surf board. Not only that, but she continued to surf professionally, placing first numerous times.

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