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Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

Minneapolis
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568 posts
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Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

We solved the puzzle of Kiddell Bay when we found the little patch of sand on the right side, just under the water, and remembered that we both had waterproof sandals. It's a gorgeous little bay just full of fish. I guess that's what the shark likes about it too.

I had just swum up near the beach to check in with spouse, who had gone in earlier, when I noticed a shark cruising the shallow waters just past the initial dropoff. I'm not sure what it was, but it was NOT a nurse shark. It was about 4 feet long, silvery and shark-shaped, and it was clearly hunting. It wasn't paying any attention to me, but it wasn't afraid of me either. If it hadn't been working the left half of the beach instead of the right it would have been cruising right between me and the beach. I had been planning to swim back out to the reefs on the left side after checking with husband but suddenly it seemed like a better idea to come in.

Anybody know what kind of shark cruises the shallow waters off St. John beaches? Do they ever attack people? And if I go back to the same beach tomorrow is it likely to be there again?

Pepperell...
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21. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

hockeyboy,

Maybe I should have used different words. When I said harmless, I guess that's how I feel as I know that 99.9% of the time, they want nothing to do with something the same size as them. If it was a Great White, Tiger, Bull, Mako or Hammerhead, I'm quite sure I would have been a LOT more freaked out.

My point is that if anyone sees a Lemon shark, I see absolutely no reason to panic. They are not known as man-eaters, and as long as you don't mess with it (or any creature you encounter) you will be just fine. I suppose even a Nurse shark could cause injury, but only if you were dumb enough to provoke it.

Holliston, MA
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22. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

Funny you should mention...

Last year my son and I stayed in a villa that is walking distance from Kiddell Bay. We decided to snorkel there one day later in the afternoon. We started swimming out, when suddenly my son grabbed my arm and dragged me all the way back to shore. He had seen a big shadow that he thought was a shark (but he didn't tell me until we got to shore so I didn't see it). I assured him that it was likely a nurse shark, a ray, or even a school of fish, but he didn't believe me. He refused to go back there again (fyi he's 13 years old). Now I wonder...

Pepperell...
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309 posts
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23. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

The worst possible thing to do if you encounter a shark is to starting splashing around & start swimming away in a panic towards shore. Sharks can sense panic and are attracted to the sudden movements and splashing. Best option is to be still, and let them swim away from you.

Minneapolis
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568 posts
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24. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

Final followup post. Okay, y'all convinced me that there was nothing to fear from this little shark and we went back to Kiddell beach twice more (my new favorite snorkeling beach). Never saw the shark again. Too bad, as this time I was ready with a camera.

I did see a delightful squad of little squid, though. And a bright yellow trumpet fish standing on its head inside an old broken lobster trap. What a fun beach!

Cruz Bay, St. John
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471 posts
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25. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

If you ever owned a cat you would notice how they go into predator mode and get fully alert when they see a bird or even a cockroach and they're ready to pounce on them.

Well sharks are the water versions of cats

If you splash or dangle something shiny in front of them they will go into their predator mode.

Columbus, Ohio
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26. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

So, wait..... There are elephants on St. John? Sweeeet!!!!!

New Hammpshire
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414 posts
4 reviews
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27. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

So very glad to hear that you liked Kiddel, DreamShark. And we're waiting for your trip report.....hint, hint!

Minneapolis
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568 posts
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28. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

"So very glad to hear that you liked Kiddel, DreamShark. And we're waiting for your trip report.....hint, hint!"

Working on it, working on it. There are actually bits and pieces of a trip report already - here, for instance:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147409-i432-k5789…

And here - sort of a trip report on how hard it is to get OUT of Kiddell:

tripadvisor.com/…44000770

Chicago
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for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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29. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

"If you splash or dangle something shiny in front of them they will go into their predator mode"

That is not at all true. Sharks are all about self preservation. a 4 ft shark is not going to attack a 5-6 ft human. Sharks are also not really visual predators so the whole shiny thing while it might work for a barracuda does not really apply to a shark. Making things up about sharks doesn't help anyone most importantly sharks.

B.

New Hammpshire
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30. Re: Yikes, shark! How dangerous are they?

Oh, I read those, thanks, but that's not what I mean.......