While the odds of you ever being attacked by a great white shark are astronomical, there are some things you can do to avoid a shark attack.
Patric Douglas' Shark Diver cage diving company has been observing great white sharks at Guadalupe Island and elsewhere since 2002.
Douglas offers some advice for beachgoers trying to avoid a close encounter with this predator.
"You have to give the sharks the mornings," Douglas said.
In fact, give them the mornings and the ocean at dusk. Douglas explains that the vast majority of attacks take place when the sun is at such an angle where the shark has trouble identifying prey. They see a silhouette of a human on a surfboard, mistake him for their usual prey, and attack. You are far less likely to be attacked when the shark can see you clearly.
Avoid areas known for great whites and don't swim with shark food. Swimming in areas where there have been shark sightings or swimming with sea lions and elephant seals only increases your chance of being attacked.
About a year ago, Dr. Peter Hoffman of Hermosa Beach saw a sea lion come roaring out of the surf in Hermosa Beach. While many of the beachgoers were frightened by the pinniped, Hoffman had it right when he said, "I'm more afraid of what chased the sea lion out of the water."
The nature of great white shark attacks is the ambush. No living victim of a great white shark attack saw it coming. Even though it appears that when a great white attacks a human it is a mistake, the attack is so violent and brutal that death frequently occurs.
Douglas says the more you learn about these creatures, the more you will appreciate them.
Douglas will be on Philip Friedman Outdoors Radio Friday October 29th at 5 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com for an entire hour discussing quite a bit more about great white sharks.