A 3-year $1.7 million study by Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries led by Dr. Rick Fletcher concluded that dawn and dusk are the most likely times for an attack may prove a fallacy. The research coming the last 20 years, numerous attacks and 10 fatalities in Western Australia shows sharks do not seem to care about the time when they attack.

“If you go out thinking that if you avoid dusk and dawn you are at a substantially lower risk, then that is not what the data suggested,” he reports.

In good news to most open water swimmers, Dr. Fletcher reported that the lowest level of risk seems to be when swimmers are close to the coast in water temperatures over 22 degrees C. But in words that ring loudly for many, he says, “…but that does not mean there is no risk.

The key for every open water swimmer is to know well the environment they are swimming in well before they get in. Knowledge of the tides, currents, marine life, appearance of wind surfers, boaters and Jetskiers are all part of the safety knowledge base that should be second-nature to swimmers of all ages and abilities.

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