GAINESVILLE, FL - This time of year college students start putting away their books and start planning for Spring Vacation, once again only weeks away. This annual rite of passage means making new friends and non-stop partying. And as their parents vaguely, but fondly, remember from Spring vacations decades earlier, visions of young almost naked and oiled up quivering bodies absorbing copious amounts of cancer causing sunshine, and of course, AIDS spreading drug orgies. Is it any wonder why students from around the world look forward to Spring Vacation in Florida each year.
It also the time of year when killer sharks partake in their annual feast, plying the clear warm waters off Florida's coast dining on little Johnny's and Debbie's. Sadly, each year hundreds of unsuspecting students are attacked and torn to shreds in frantic feeding frenzies by sharks gorging themselves along the Florida coast. So it's always best for students to remember one last lesson as they head out on vacation - this time of year is the beginning of shark season as well.
That's because tens of thousands of sharks head to the shallow beach waters while the weather is at its best, knowing that the annual influx of prime beef is underway. And with all those people in the water it's only natural that the sharks would take a little nibble here and there.
Burgess George, a shark expert at the University of Florida says following some simple rules can dramatically cut your odds of being eaten alive, or perhaps spending the rest of your life know to all as 'Lefty'.
"Humans can reduce the number of shark attacks by being smart," Burgess says. "Avoiding times and places when sharks are most common, certainly the time period between sundown and sundown the next day. Stay out of the water at that time period. Try to avoid areas of shark abundance such as water, things like that."
Another good tip: Stay in groups in the water. Burgess says 'schools' of humans will likely keep sharks away. However, if you end up facing a killer shark Burgess says don't back-down. His best advice is to fight your way to the center of the group of student. It's usually the slow swimmers or the slow of mind who are devoured, so stay smart.
"The fact of the matter is we're putting so many people in the water every year, humans are dictating the shark attack situation," Burgess says. "How many we put in the water, when we go in the water, these are factors that dictate who gets torn to pieces and who goes home. And one last thing, do your friends a favor. Leave the keys to your car under the floormat so your friends can have a way home, just in case."
Information supplied by: University of Florida