How Dangerous Are Sharks?

How Dangerous Are Sharks?

People are naturally frightened of sharks, especially as a result of the media and movies. But in fact, even open water swimmers have more things to worry about. For example, humans are nearly 40 times as likely to be killed by dogs than killed by a shark.

However, the National Safety Council, the Disease Control & Prevention and the International Shark Attack File provided the following information about disease and accidental causes of deaths and the risk during one’s lifetime in the United States:

Heart disease: 652,486 deaths or 1 in 5 risk
Cancer: 553,888 deaths or 1 in 7 risk
Stroke: 150,074 deaths or 1 in 24 risk
Hospital Infections: 99,000 deaths or 1 in 38 risk
Flu: 59,664 deaths or 1 in 63 risk
Car accidents: 44,757 deaths or 1 in 84 risk
Suicide: 31,484 deaths or 1 in 119 risk
Accidental poisoning: 19,456 deaths or 1 in 193 risk
Falls: 17,229 deaths or 1 in 218 risk
Drowning: 3,306 deaths or 1 in 1,134 risk
Bike accident: 762 deaths or 1 in 4,919 risk
Sun/heat exposure: 273 deaths or 1 in 13,729 risk
Lightning: 47 deaths or 1 in 79,746 risk
Fireworks: 11 deaths or 1 in 340,733 risk
Shark attack: 1 death or 1 in 3,748,067 risk

In the state of Florida between 1998 – 2009, there were 10,172 boating accidents, 754 boating fatalities, 280 shark attacks and 4 shark attack fatalities.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association