What Should You Do If a Shark Attacks?

Randy Honebrink
Randy Honebrink

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- An average of three to five shark attacks happen every year in the islands. If it happens to you, do you know what to do?

More than forty different species of sharks roam Hawaiian waters. They aren't all dangerous, but have you ever thought of how you would react if one attacked you? Some beach goers tells us they would "play dead," but others say they would fight back.

It's a beautiful day in Waikiki, and these beach-goers probably aren't thinking about sharks.

"Never even crossed my mind," said tourist Debbie Simons.

At the Waikiki Aquarium, the sharks are housed safely behind the glass, but would you know what to do if you encountered one on the open ocean?"

"Probably play dead or float. Don't make too much movement because I guess that's what is supposed to attract them -- am I right?" said tourist Jeannie Callahan.

Shark expert Randy Honebrink says no -- fighting back could save your life.

"If you see a shark swimming at you and it gets close enough you need to kick it or hit it, something like that," said Honebrink.

Honebrink says if you find yourself in a fight, with a shark your best bet is to go for its "soft spots."

"As soon as somebody grabs a sharks eye, they let go immediately, because they don't seem to like that pounding them on the snouter. The gill seems to work too, but just trying to get some sort of vunerable part of the sharks body seems to work well."

Swimming in groups, avoiding channel entrances, harbors and murky water, reduces your likely hood of running into a shark. But, nothings foolproof.

"You just have to sort of accept that when you go out in the water it's a chance that you take," said Honebrink.