It’s taken straight from the plot of the movie “Jaws”…a great white shark attack over the Fourth of July weekend.
“I’m sitting there staring at this shark eye to eye, just right there. I can feel the vibration as he gnaws into my skin,” said Steve Robles who survived the attack off Manhattan Beach. “It was the scariest thing you could imagine.”
But shark researcher Alex Antoniou says someone has a better chance at winning the lottery than going through what Robles did.
“People should have a concern and somewhat of a fear of sharks,” Antoniou said. “But the odds of someone getting attacked by a shark are quite miniscule. Conservatively if we say there’s 400 million people that enter the ocean globally on an annual basis and out of that you have less than 400 attacks…those odds are pretty good.”
Antoniou founded “Fins Attached,” a non-profit marine research and conservation organization. An apex predator, Antoniou says sharks are a vital part of the marine ecosystem.
“We shouldn’t blow things out of proportion and we shouldn’t have this knee jerk reaction that someone got attacked by a shark and we need to go out there and hunt all the sharks,” Antoniou said.
In the attack over the weekend Antoniou believes the shark felt threatened after a fisherman had hooked it and battled with it for over a half an hour before Robles swam nearby.
"Not sure we can anger a shark but sharks sure do get defensive if they feel threatened in any way, they will lash out," Antoniou said.
He says you can lessen your chance at interacting with a shark by staying out of the water at dawn and dusk...that's when sharks are most active feeding.