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Diver demonstrates how to avoid a shark attack in viral videos

A professional diver is demonstrating how to avoid shark attacks, saying you should never splash or try to swim away because you will look like prey. 

Kayleigh Grant, 34, is the founder and operator of Kaimana Ocean Safari, a tourism company in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. She has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, where she posts videos of her underwater adventures. 

The Pennsylvania native went viral a few weeks ago when she shared a video of her colleague swimming away from a shark to show why it’s the last thing you should do.  

‘Splashing and swimming away imitates what prey does. When we’re dealing with top predators like sharks, we also want to act like a predator,’ she explains in a voiceover.

Professional diver Kayleigh Grant, 34, is the founder and operator of Kaimana Ocean Safari, a tourism company in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Grant went viral a few weeks ago when she shared a video of her colleague swimming away from a shark to show why it's the last thing you should do

Grant went viral a few weeks ago when she shared a video of her colleague swimming away from a shark to show why it’s the last thing you should do

‘What you actually want to do is not splash, turn around, face the animal, and maintain eye contact,’ she adds. ‘With tiger sharks, you can place your hand on the top of their head, press down gently, and that will redirect them away from you.’

The footage shows the shark following the diver as she swims away. It’s not until she turns around, stares at the animal, and presses down on its head that it changes direction.

Grant advises using other methods to divert a shark before resorting to touching. In a follow-up video, she demonstrates how important it is to make eye contact when swimming with sharks. 

‘This shark was swimming right towards me, but as soon as I turn my body around, face the animal, [and] make eye contact, it decides to turn off and swim away,’ she notes. ‘Making eye contact is more intimidating and is what other predators do.’

'Splashing and swimming away imitates what prey does. When we're dealing with top predators like sharks, we also want to act like a predator,' she explained

‘Splashing and swimming away imitates what prey does. When we’re dealing with top predators like sharks, we also want to act like a predator,’ she explained 

It's not until the diver turns around, stares at the animal, and presses down on its head that it changes direction

It's not until the diver turns around, stares at the animal, and presses down on its head that it changes direction

It’s not until the diver turns around, stares at the animal, and presses down on its head that it changes direction

Grant advises using other methods to divert a shark before resorting to touching

Grant advises using other methods to divert a shark before resorting to touching

She added in the caption that the shark was ‘likely just investigating’ and not coming to bite her, but she was able to scare it off just by starting it down. 

‘Making eye contact is the number one rule when shark diving!’ she wrote. 

Grant was inspired to share another video on the topic after a viewer asked what she would do if a shark opens its mouth when she is trying to redirect it.  

‘This is such a rare situation that I only have one video that I can show you,’ she says, explaining that ‘there are many different things you can do in this situation.’  

‘As the shark comes in, I go to redirect it. It decides to open its mouth, so I remove my hand from that area, and place my hand on a different area of the shark.’

In a follow-up video, she demonstrates how important it is to make eye contact when swimming with sharks

In a follow-up video, she demonstrates how important it is to make eye contact when swimming with sharks

'Making eye contact is the number one rule when shark diving!' she explained in the caption

'Making eye contact is the number one rule when shark diving!' she explained in the caption

‘Making eye contact is the number one rule when shark diving!’ she explained in the caption

Grant said it can also help to place a camera or fins between you and the shark, which is what she does when she is diving with tour groups

Grant said it can also help to place a camera or fins between you and the shark, which is what she does when she is diving with tour groups 

‘Here I was focused on getting my body to the side of the shark, away from the shark’s mouth. They are still wild animals, and they are totally unpredictable.’

Grant stressed in the caption that people should not swim with sharks without a professional diver. 

‘We show you these videos in case you’re ever in this rare emergency situation by yourself,’ she wrote. ‘We want everyone to stay safe with sharks.’

Grant has been scuba diving since she moved to Hawaii 10 years ago. She estimates that she has swam with thousands of sharks, but she told KHON that she has never had a ‘close call.’ 

Grant was inspired to share another video on the topic after a viewer asked what she would do if a shark opens its mouth when she is trying to redirect it

Grant was inspired to share another video on the topic after a viewer asked what she would do if a shark opens its mouth when she is trying to redirect it

Grant noted that this is an extremely rare situation, but sharks are wild animals and unpredictable

Grant noted that this is an extremely rare situation, but sharks are wild animals and unpredictable

Grant noted that this is an extremely rare situation, but sharks are wild animals and unpredictable 

'As the shark comes in, I go to redirect it. It decides to open its mouth, so I remove my hand from that area, and place my hand on a different area of the shark,' she said

‘As the shark comes in, I go to redirect it. It decides to open its mouth, so I remove my hand from that area, and place my hand on a different area of the shark,’ she said 

She explained that sharks are surprisingly shy, and despite the common misconception, they aren’t attracted to human blood. 

‘When you dive for a living, you definitely enter the ocean with plenty of cuts and scrapes, and I’ve been around sharks while bleeding a bit and there is no reaction,’ she said. ‘We don’t smell or taste like their natural food source which is fish!’

Grant once again reiterated that there are many things people can do to avoid a shark attack, including knowing when you should and shouldn’t swim in the ocean. 

‘The best way to do that is to stay calm, don’t splash, maintain eye contact, and if one comes up to you, try putting your fins or camera between you and them,’ she told the news station. 

‘Don’t surf or swim in murky waters or after big rainfall, don’t swim near someone actively fishing or harbor mouths, and swim and surf in groups.’

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