Shark Trouble: True Stories About Sharks and the Sea
Master storyteller Peter Benchley combines high adventure with practical information in Shark Trouble, a book that is at once a thriller and a valuable guide to being safe in, on, under, and around the sea. The best-selling author of Jaws, The Deep, and other works draws on more than three decades of experience to share information about sharks and other marine animals.
"Shark attacks on human beings generate a tremendous amount of media coverage," Benchley writes, "partly because they occur so rarely, but mostly, I think, because people are, and always have been, simultaneously intrigued and terrified by sharks. Sharks come from a wing of the dark castle where our nightmares live - deep water beyond our sight and understanding - and so they stimulate our fears and fantasies and imaginations."
Benchley describes the many types of sharks (including the ones that pose a genuine threat to man), what is and isn't known about shark behavior, the odds against an attack and how to reduce them even further - all reinforced with the lessons he has learned, the mistakes he has made, and the personal perils he has encountered while producing television documentaries, bestselling novels, and articles about the sea and its inhabitants. He tells how to swim safely in the ocean, how to read the tides and currents, what behavior to avoid, and how to survive when danger suddenly strikes. He discusses how to tell children about sharks and the sea and how to develop, in young and old alike, a healthy respect for the ocean.
As Benchley says, "The ocean is the only alien and potentially hostile environment on the planet into which we tend to venture without thinking about the animals that live there, how they behave, how they support themselves, and how they perceive us. I know of no one who would set off into the jungles of Malaysia armed only with a bathing suit, a tube of suntan cream, and a book, and yet that's precisely how we approach the oceans."
No longer. Not after you've read Shark Trouble.
near your blanket, your Yoo-hoo, and your can of Pringles, walk up the beach in the opposite direction of the drift, enter the water, and let yourself float down the beach until you reach your exit point. Then swim gently across the drift toward shore. Otherwise, be prepared to float away from your home base and walk back when you’re finished swimming. Under no circumstances should you try to swim against the current—the only exception being for swimmers with a lot of experience in the ocean and
down a drain. A strip of water leading out to sea, perhaps ten yards wide, perhaps fifty, will look different from the rest of the ocean. It will definitely have its own motion; it may contain short, choppy, foamy waves; the water will look murky and sandy from turbulence; all manner of flotsam—pieces of wood, seaweed, trash—will be speeding seaward in the strip. If there is wave action over the sandbar, the runout will appear as a gap in the surf, for this is where the bar has collapsed. Once
entire area: not just the cannons, but the sand plains that spread out from them on all sides. Seconds after I had begun to creep along the sand, he had seen, emerging from the gloom on the opposite side of the cannons, a great white shark. Not a big one—ten or twelve feet at most, probably a young male—but a great white shark nonetheless. Anyone who has ever seen a great white in the water will never mistake it for any other species of shark. Seen from above, the great white has a unique
excitement. What could have done this? Not a shark; no gigantic fish had swallowed the baited hooks and tried to run with them. We would have felt it; the boat would have moved. And no shark tooth was hard enough to cut through an eighth of an inch of stainless steel. We couldn’t have foul-hooked a whale. Sure, the weight of a whale would have been enough to break the cable, but the cable ends would be splayed, the strands all askew. Whatever had bitten through our cables, we decided, had a
Natalia, were wading in the surf off Avon, North Carolina. Natalia was bitten, too, and lost a foot, but she survived. The summer ended. Then came the horror of the World Trade Center disaster of September 11, and shark sightings, shark encounters, and shark attacks disappeared from the news. 3 Sharks How Little We Know There are a great many sharks, and a great many kinds of sharks, in the sea, and very few—an infinitesimal, insignificant number—will ever have contact with a human being,