For all the terror they generate, fatal shark attacks are pretty rare — there are usually only a handful in a year.

That said, no reason to tempt fate by doing things that make you more likely to be shark bait. For instance, try not to swim at night or at twilight, a time when sharks tend to be more active. Try to stay in groups because sharks are much more likely to attack someone swimming alone. Don't wear shiny jewelry because anything that reflects light can, to a shark, look like fish scales. And obviously, don't stray too far from shore; it will make it that much harder for you to get to safety or get help if a shark bites you.

LOSE THE JEWELRY

Don't wear shiny jewelry because anything that reflects light can, to a shark, look like fish scales. And obviously, don't stray too far from shore; it will make it that much harder for you to get to safety or get help if a shark bites you.

The problem is that most shark bite victims don't see the big fish coming. Usually, the attack comes by surprise. It may seem small consolation, but sharks don't like to eat humans. More often than not, they mistake them for seals, which they really do like to eat.

HIT HIM IN THE EYE

But that doesn't mean much once a shark bites or if he holds on and pulls his victim underwater. At that point you need to fight back. You gain nothing by trying to play dead. If you have a spear gun or camera, hit the shark in the eye. Or if you get the chance, grab his gills on the side of his body; they are particularly sensitive.

With luck, the shark will spit you out. Once free you need to get out of the water as soon as possible. But even before you're out of the water, do what you can to staunch any bleeding. Losing a tremendous amount of blood is the greatest threat to your life.

And remember, the majority of shark bites are definitely survivable.