Swimming in open water carries potential danger. As the sea is full of creatures that can be a threat to humans, understanding the risks and knowing our limits is an important spearfishing skill that’ll help avoid accidents. In this blog, we’re going to cover how to handle yourself when you're around dangerous animals in the water.
Wear The Right Diving Gear
There are a few different things that we need to look out for whilst diving. You might be up in the whitewash chasing crayfish and putting your hand in holes you can't see clearly. You need to make sure you're looking after yourself because there is the possibility of getting stabbed by sea urchin spikes. There are also opportunities for eels to latch on - so make sure to wear a solid glove. Wearing gloves also makes it easier to grab crays.
Familiarise Yourself With Animal Behaviour
When it comes to dangerous animals at sea, sharks are the number one creature that comes into people’s mind. Sharks are going to be an ever-present thing for divers and they're something you just need to become comfortable with. Typically, most sharks are just inquisitive. They're not going to be much of a danger to you.
The easiest way for you to get yourself into a position where you might be put at risk is really not understanding what's going on around you. When surveying the sharks in the area, if you see them up on the top of the water column and they have their pec fins down, what that means is they're going to be quite agile. It also likely means they're in a bit of an aggressive state or a hunting state. If you see multiple sharks on the top of the water column and you've shot a few fish in that area, they're probably a little bit wound up by you.
Never Feed Sharks
One important thing to remember is, never feed sharks. If you’ve lost a fish to a shark, get out of there and move to a new area. As soon as you start feeding fish to sharks it's definitely a possibility that they're going to learn that the noise of a gun going off is an easy meal. If you see a shark on top of the water column, in that top five to ten meters of water, or even worse on the top of the surface and they’re well within ten meters of you with their pecs down, they're probably in an aggressive state. It's probably safer to get back in the boat and move on to the new spot.
Err On The Side Of Caution
With a lot of sharks in different areas, you might be diving off headlands and encounter things like grey nurse sharks. These sharks are known to be quite dull, but just like any shark, you don't want to underestimate them. There's always a possibility that they can hurt you, especially considering the size of them. So when diving around sharks, keep your distance and keep an eye on them. If they consistently keep coming in at you, you want to make sure that you just move on, especially if they start getting wound up after you've shot a few fish.
Always Dive With A Buddy
Sometimes you may get into a position where a shark is swimming extremely close, and in your personal space. At that point, having a diving buddy is even more important. You want to position yourselves back to back, or at least side by side so you can keep an eye on each other, and hold the gun out in front of you. With the gun you're going to want to push the shark off. Use the tip of your spear, put it on their nose as it's quite a sensitive place for them, and give them a light push. Typically they'll get quite annoyed and they'll dart off. The whole idea is to keep them at bay until you can get into the boat.
Stay Away From Stingers
Another creature to think about when you're out in the water is stingers. In some areas, you're not going to have the possibility of running into an irukandji jellyfish or something of a similar threat. However at the end of the day, any stinger is a bad stinger. So what you want to make sure of is that you've got a hood on your suit. The most common thing that typically happens is people swim directly into stingers - so having that hood will protect most of your face. You'll also then have your mask tucked in underneath.
If you need additional tips and guidance on how to properly get started with spearfishing, visit the Adreno Spearfishing Blog now! You can also check out our massive range of spearfishing gear!