Beach visitors warned after two recent shark incidents in Brevard County

Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 11, 2017

Two shark incidents are under investigation. The closest at Melbourne Beach.

Shark experts say people up and down the Atlantic Coast must be aware when they go into the water.

At South Beach Park in Vero Beach, RoAnn Cook has only seen one shark in her life. "12-18 inches long."

After hearing of two attack just north of her, she doesn't want to see another.

"Hopefully that was the only one for a long time," says Cook.

Vero Beach Ocean Rescue is aware, though they hadn't spotted any sharks Tuesday.

"We're ready to respond," says lifeguard Tim Capra.

Experts say sharks have stuck around a little longer due to colder temperatures up north.

Capra says it's important to be aware of your surroundings and don't wear jewelry. 

"Nothing flashy and if you so see little bait fish jumping, just get out," says Capra.

Shark experts say they're still doing research on what times of the day sharks swim closer to shore, but say generally avoid swimming at night, dawn and dusk.

 The Florida Museum offers swimmers this advice:

1. Always swim in a group. Sharks most often attack lone individuals.

2. Don't wander too far from shore. Doing so isolates you and places you away from assistance.

3. Avoid the water at night, dawn, or dusk. Many sharks are most active at these times and are better able to find you than you are to see them.

4. Don't enter the water if bleeding. Sharks can smell and taste blood, and trace it back to its source.

5. Don't wear shiny jewelry. The reflected light looks like shining fish scales.

6. Don't go into waters containing sewage. Sewage attracts bait fishes, which in turn attract sharks.

7. Avoid waters being fished and those with lots of bait fishes. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such activities.

8. Don't enter the water if sharks are present. Leave immediately if sharks are seen.

9. Avoid an uneven tan and brightly colored clothing. Sharks see contrast particularly well, so use extra caution when waters are cloudy.

10. Don't splash a lot. Also, keep pets out of the water. Erratic movements can attract sharks.

11. Use care near sandbars or steep drop-offs. These are favorite hangouts for sharks.

12. Don't relax just because porpoises are nearby. Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks. Both often eat the same foods.

13. Don't try to touch a shark if you see one!

14. If attacked by a shark, the general rule is "Do whatever it takes to get away!" Some people have successfully chosen to be aggressive, others passive. Some yelled underwater, others blew bubbles. I personally would go down fighting.