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Are Jet Skis Safe From Sharks? Tips to Avoid Jet Ski Shark Attacks

Are Jet Skis Safe From Sharks? Tips to Avoid Jet Ski Shark Attacks

It’s rare for jet ski shark attacks to happen, but minute or major, the chance is always there.

Keep in mind that you’re more likely to have a jet ski accident or other incident involving an inexperienced driver than you would a jet ski shark attack. If you’re concerned about a shark attack while you’re out on the water having fun on jet ski, you need to learn how to avoid sharks.

You can check out the various statistics, and tips and tricks to help you have a great and safe time out on the water!

Are Jet Skis Safe From Sharks?

Most people have a fear of sharks, which isn’t that surprising if you saw the movie Jaws (1975).

The movie certainly brought the fear of going into the ocean to the surface (so to speak). And, it’s left some people sitting on the beach when all they want to do is get out and enjoy the ocean. If you’re one of those people who are tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching others on a jet ski, you may be wondering if it’s safe for them to do so.

The key point to understand about a jet ski shark attack is that they are rare to happen, and it’s because sharks rarely attack things that are bigger than themselves.

This means they’re unlikely to attack a boat or jet ski (no matter what you have seen in Jaws, Sharknado, or any other shark movie).

That’s just Hollywood!

Despite the minute chance of a jet ski shark attack, there have been reported cases of them happening. How can you avoid the chances of this happening to you?

Some Statistics About Jet Ski Shark Attacks

Did you know there are over 300 species of sharks, but only a handful of them are dangerous to humans?

When coming into the water where sharks are, learn what type of shark is present.

In fact, most human deaths are caused by three shark species – bull sharks, tiger sharks and white sharks. The ocean white-tip shark is seen more in the open ocean and is very aggressive.

However, any shark that’s more than six feet long could be deadly – something to be mindful of.

Even with all the ways you can avoid a jet ski shark attack, you may still be hesitant to get out onto the water and have fun. Here are a few interesting shark attack statistics to help put your mind at ease (or not).

According to a recent report from the International Shark Attack File, of the 130 shark attacks in the world in 2018, 66 of them were unprovoked – this means a shark attacked someone with no provocation on the person’s part.

While the statistics publish no information related to jet ski shark attacks, they do publish information about shark attacks and boats. It’s possible some of these “boats” were actually jet skis.

Of the reports noted in the report, just nine of them were boats. So, if jet skis were to be included in the boat number, that would mean the chances for a jet ski shark attack is minuscule.

In the U.S., there were just 32 shark attacks in 2018. Of those 32, there was a single fatality. The truth is dogs attack much more people than sharks do annually. Moreover, according to statistics, 130 people die every year in the U.S. in a vehicle/deer collision!

5 Primary Ways To Avoid Jet Ski Shark Attacks

As you see, there is so much more to be concerned about than a jet ski shark attack, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions to mitigate the chances of one happening. What can you do to lower your chances of being attacked while you’re having fun on the water?

Avoid Shark-Infested Waters: The number one way to avoid a jet ski shark attack is not to swim or ride into where sharks are.

Be Mindful Of Warnings: If you’re in the coastal waters, chances are you’ll have posted warning signs about sharks being sighted. Even if you don’t see any, the locals of the area can warn you of the chances of sharks in the area. If you’re warned about sharks being sighted in the area, don’t go to the area.

Don’t Swim Where Fishing Takes Place: Sharks often come in when fishermen have their lines or nets out because of the bait they use (and for the fishes of course!). Even if you see no fishing boats but still seabirds diving into the water, the chance for fishing activity happening is high. Find another place to ride and swim.

Swim with Friends: If you do go swimming, make sure it’s with friends. Sharks tend to attack lone individuals and not a group of people (unlike what you saw in Jaws). If you’re going snorkeling or swimming via a jet ski, make sure you bring at least one person with you!

Move with Grace: Playing in the water can be fun, but leave the splashing for the swimming pool. No sudden movements if you spot sharks near you. Splashing trying to get away will only catch their attention and may give them the impression that you’re hurt. If you see a shark, the best thing you can do is stay quiet and still. Never bring your pets into the water either!

When You Should Not Enter The Water

  • When sharks have been spotted or reported to have been seen
  • When you’re bleeding
  • When you’re wearing bright shiny jewelry or other accessories that can reflect light. (remove all jewelry to avoid catching the shark’s attention who may think it’s food shiny fish scales). If you wear a diving watch, make sure your wet suit covers it entirely.
  • When you wear colorful clothes. Make sure you’re wearing the right kind of clothes. You don’t want to wear anything flashy or bright, as this can lure sharks to you. Instead, your wet suit or swimwear needs to be darker in color.
  • When the water isn’t clear – If you can’t see into the water that well, then you won’t know if a shark is swimming close by. Also, avoid any water that contains sewage, as this can lure bait fishes that then lure the sharks in.
  • When birds appear – If you see birds flying above the water, it means they are hunting. If you see prey species such as dolphins, smaller fish or seals, your best bet is to get out of the water.  And, don’t rely on the myth that having porpoises nearby means sharks are not. They often hunt for the same food.
  • When it’s nighttime – dawn or dusk – as this is when sharks tend to be most active and can see you better than you can see them. In many states, it’s also illegal to ride a jet ski after sunset or before dawn!

What Happens If You Fall Off While Jet Skiing

In most cases, a jet ski shark attack doesn’t happen because you fall off your jet ski. Not to say it can’t happen, just the chances of it are extremely low. Again, sharks don’t hunt for jet skis at all.

And, if you know how a jet ski operates or if you learn how to ride it correctly, you’re less likely to fall into the water. Thus, lowering your chances of being attacked by a shark even more.

If you’re going to go snorkeling and swimming for extended periods of time while also jet skiing, just remember the above rules about how to protect yourself in the water from shark attacks.

Fishing and Jet Skiing

If you’re going jet ski fishing, you do increase your chances of a jet ski shark attack.

After all, you’re using bait to lure in fish, but that same bait is also luring in sharks. Sharks love blood, which is what happens when you use bait, or catch a bigger fish:As you can see, sharks don’t want you or your jet ski; they want your catch. If you’re uncomfortable fishing where sharks are, take the high road and go elsewhere for your fishing fun!

Always Give Sharks Respect

For the most part, sharks will leave you alone. If you see one, leave it be. Sharks are not really attracted to human flesh, so if you see one, stay calm and let it swim right by you.


Simply put, to avoid jet ski shark attacks, you must leave the area and respect the shark’s territory. They will protect it and themselves.

They will not come after you (no matter what you saw in the movies or cartoons). But if you are still concerned about sharks chasing you, check out the top speed of the latest jet ski models on the market. (Yes, jet skis are faster than sharks!)

Obviously, you should be more concerned about what’s on land than what’s in the ocean!

Go out and enjoy the jet ski, and don’t be so concerned about a jet ski shark attack! The chances of one happening to you are very remote, and shouldn’t keep you from enjoying a day in the fun and sun!