What do they look like?
Sharks come is a wide variety of shapes and sizes,
but there are some things they all have in common.
The skeleton of a shark is very different from that of
other fish. It is made from rubbery cartilage, a tissue
lighter and more flexible than bone. Like other fish,
sharks breathe by extracting oxygen from seawater
as it passes over their gills which are in a row behind
its head. Their skin is tough and scratchy, covered in
tiny toothlike scales. All sharks have multiple rows of
teeth along the edges of their upper and lower jaws
which are constantly replaced throughout the sharks
life. Some sharks can lose 30,000 teeth in a lifetime.
Why are they dangerous?
If a shark bites you, it does a lot of damage and causes
you to lose a lot of blood.
How to avoid them?
Shark attacks are very rare and if you follow our safety
tips, the risk is even less. The safest part of the beach
is the area between the red and yellow flags where
trained lifesavers keep a sharp lookout for sharks.
If they spot a shark, lifesavers will sound a siren or
ring a bell, put up the red and white flag and tell you
to leave the water immediately. Always follow their
instructions quickly. If lifesavers have seen a shark in
the area, they will put up safety signs and flags. Always
look out for these and obey their warnings. Don’t
swim after dusk, at night or before dawn when sharks
are most active. Never swim alone. Never swim while
bleeding or with your pets. Sharks have an excellent
sense of smell and will come from far and wide to
investigate these smells. There are other places that
aren’t good for swimming if you are trying to avoid
sharks. Don’t swim in murky waters, estuary mouths,
canals, near schools of fish or where fish are being
cleaned. Do not swim near or interfere with Shark
Control Program equipment. Most patrolled beaches
along the Queensland coast have nets suspended in
the sea just beyond the surf line. Their job is to capture
very large and possibly dangerous sharks that try to
reach beaches. You might see a line of white marker
boys beyond the waves that mark the nets — stay
away from them.
What to do if you get hurt?
Get the person out of the water when it is safe to do so
and call 000. Apply pressure to stop the bleeding and
provide CPR if necessary.