Beach bound? Stay safe

Blacktip shark

It’s no secret that beachgoers have seen sharks in the Atlantic Ocean this summer; but don’t worry, it’s still safe to go in the water.

“You’re more likely to die taking a selfie than being bitten by a shark,” said Tyler Bowling, manager of the Florida Program for Shark Research.

How to help prevent shark attacks? Awareness and respect.

Dean Michael Heithaus told NBC News, “If there are more people in the water, there are more encounters. They are big predators and we need to respect them, but in most areas of the world, shark populations are down.”

Best things to do? Swim in groups, avoid being in the water at dawn or dusk and refrain from long periods of splashing or wearing shiny jewelry which might look like a fish to a shark.

This article first appeared in NBC News on July 4, 2019.