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post #2 of Old 08-11-2001
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Ahoy debbabcock, I took a lady friend of mine to the keys for a vacation and after three wonderfull days of swimming and snorkling and free diving for lobster in open water we took the john boat off to fish. After catching many edible fish I hooked into a 4'' shark which I landed and then on the second day a 4'' barracuda. My friend never went back in the water again!! I''ve taken my 8-10 yr old daughters in the same waters and swam with barracuda and sharks without problems. Like most things if you only think of the worst that can happen it''s time to return to dry land. With very small children I would never take them in open water without very carefull precautions. We have an, in the water pool (a 12'' diameter inflatable ring with a fine screen net attached to the underside) which keeps jellyfish away and provides a safe bottom to not lose younger ones. Although I am sure it would not stop a determined shark I do believe it would confuse and scare off a first attack or confuse thier sonar . I have no evidence to prove this but We feel better using it. Otherwise save the swimming for the areas of water where shark attack is less problematic. The odds of any shark attack are related to many factors including habitat and food supply, time of day (your incident the shark was more interested in resting than eating) and is more the normal reaction to human activities. Keep a watch out , be prudent about where and when, and there are worse things that could happen every day and none of us thinks too much about it. Big Red 56
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