The St Helena Resilience Forum (SHRF) was informed that there was a Shark spotted yesterday, Sunday, 15 April 2018, in Rupert’s Bay between the hours of 3-4pm.

The SHRF therefore advises the public to use caution when swimming in the sea and has given the following guidance.

  • Check out the water before entering where possible – go to higher ground and look to see if any sharks are in the area – though, of course, be aware that sharks can still enter an area at a later stage.
  • Stay out of the water at dawn, early evening, and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed on fish. Sharks are well equipped to locate prey even when visibility is poor.
  • Avoid areas where fish waste enters the water.
  • It is prudent not to enter the water with an open wound, however small it may be.
  • After large swells the waters can become murky – avoid swimming during murky sea conditions.
  • Do not wear high-contrast clothing (orange and yellow are said to be risky colours) or shiny jewellery (which may appear to be like fish scales). Sharks see contrast very well.
  • Refrain from excessive splashing. Keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water. Sharks are attracted to such activity.
  • Leave the water quickly and calmly if a shark is sighted. Do not provoke, harass, or entice a shark, even a small one.
  • If fish start to behave erratically, leave the water. They may be behaving like that because there is a shark in the area.
  • Experts suggest that incidents with sharks are more common on lone swimmers – swim, surf, or dive with other people to reduce risk.
  • If you are diving and are approached by a shark, stay as still as possible. If you are carrying fish or other catches, release the catch and quietly leave the area.

The maritime community are also asked to refrain from discarding fish waste into the water at James Bay and Rupert’s Bay as this could potentially attract a shark to the area.

If any member of the public sees a shark in any known swimming areas, please note any details of its appearance and inform either Harbourmaster, David Caswell, on tel: 22287 or email: david.caswell@sainthelena.gov.sh, or Sea Rescue Manager, Simon Wade, on tel: 25052 or email: simonwade@helanta.co.sh.

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SHG
16 April 2018

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