You’re more likely to die from fireworks than by shark. But after 11 recent shark attacks in the Carolinas alone, many vacationers are asking what they should do if a shark decides to bite.

Eric Douglas, an author and scuba expert based in Pinch, WV, says you should absolutely fight back.

“Certainly hit them, punch them, poke them, whatever go for the eyes because they’re going to go, ‘This is more work than I planned on,’ and they’re going to swim away,” Douglas said. “They’re not going to want anything to do with you.”

Douglas said in most shark attack cases, the predator will bite and then swim away quickly. If you see a shark bite someone else, that means you’ll likely be safe to jump into the water and help.

“I think the odds of you getting attacked by a shark trying to save somebody else hit by a shark is pretty minor,” Douglas said.
Once that person is out of the water, Douglas says you should put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and dial 911 immediately. He says it’s no different from any other traumatic bleeding injury.

Douglas says you can try to avoid sharks altogether by not swimming in the ocean at the time of their feedings. Sharks typically eat at dawn, dusk and overnight.

For more information on sharks, visit Douglas’s website at