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Shark safety tips

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — It’s not everyday you’d see a shark in the water in Panama City Beach, but in the last few weeks residents and tourists have seen a couple of them. What do you do if you find yourself face to face with one of these animals?
 
Dr. John Carlson, a Research Biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explains.
 
The chances of being bitten or attacked by a shark are extremely rare, said Carlson.
 
He says shark attacks are usually the result of a shark mistaking humans for prey, and he has a few tips to avoid them in the water:
Avoid swimming in the water during times of the day such as dawn and dusk when the visibility is lower.
Don’t swim in areas of the water where visibility is poor or cloudy.
If you see large schools of fish swimming by, move out of the water.
Don’t swim near people who are fishing.
 
If you do see a shark nearby, remain calm, said Carlson. The animal is not there hunting you, the animal is just in its natural environment. Just slowly and calmly leave the water.
 
He says, however, that this is a very rare occurance
 
“You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than you do of being attacked by a shark, said Carlson.

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