4 May 2018
PUBLIC SAFETY INFORMATION REMINDER
The public is reminded that two shark sightings were reported to the St Helena Resilience Forum (SHRF) during the month of April 2018. On 15 April a shark was spotted in Rupert’s Bay and on 26 April a shark was sighted about 50m out from the main landing steps at the Wharf in Jamestown.
The SHRF therefore reminds the public to use caution when swimming in the sea and has given the following guidance:
- Check the water before entering – go to higher ground and look to see if any sharks are in the area – 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 sharks may move inshore to feed on fish. Sharks are well equipped to locate prey even when visibility is poor
- Do not enter in or near areas where fish waste enters the water
- Do not enter the water with an open wound, however small it may be
- After large swells the waters can become murky – Do not swim 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 – do not swim, surf, or dive alone
- 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 is also reminded to refrain from disposing of any fish waste in the water at James Bay or 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 behaviour and inform either Harbourmaster, David Caswell, on tel: 22287 or email: email@example.com, or Deputy Sea Rescue Manager, Craig Scipio, on tel: 25215 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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4 May 2018