What’s more likely: A shark attack or getting struck by lightning?

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This time of year, many flock to the Gulf of Mexico to beat the heat. However, there are two things you have to avoid: shark attacks and lightning strikes. Florida has the most reported shark attacks nationwide and our state has often been referred to as the lightning capital of the country. 

But, which one is more likely? 

A person only has a 1 in 3.7 million chance of getting killed by a shark attack. You are far more likely to get struck by lightning. A person has a 1 in 1.2 million chance of getting struck by lightning in a given year, but over an 80 year lifespan, the chances increase to 1 in roughly 15,000. About 90 percent of lightning strike victims survive. 

To avoid a lightning strike, make sure to seek shelter indoors as soon as you hear thunder roar. If you’re at the pool or the beach, be sure to get out of the water. If you’re stuck outdoors, do not seek shelter under tall objects like a tree or a pole. Lightning can also strike well outside of a parent thunderstorm so don’t forget that you can still get struck even if it’s not downpouring where you are. 

To avoid a shark attack, avoid swimming at dawn or dusk where a shark may confuse you for prey due to very low visibility. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry. A shark may mistake the shimmer for a fish. Try to avoid swimming where people are fishing or where pools of fish are. Also, try to swim in groups of people. 

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