Shark vs. Drowning

Year 2000 USA Beach Injuries and Fatalities

From within the jurisdictions of 68 USLA East and West Coast ocean lifeguard agencies

Here are what the real odds are based on the data below:

Drowning and other beach-related fatalities 1 in 2 million
Drowning fatalities 1 in 3.5 million
Shark attacks 1 in 11.5 million
Shark attack fatalities 0 in 264.1 million


Estimated attendance 264,156,728
Lifeguard provision of medical care 236,642
Lifeguard rescues from drowning 70,771

Drowning (lifeguard areas) 12
Drowning (non-lifeguard areas) 62
Fatalities (causes other than drowning) 58
Total fatalities 132

Unprovoked shark attack 23
Fatalities 0

Sources: USLA (from 68 ocean lifeguard agencies within jurisdiction), ISAF (same beach areas). In 2000 there were 52 unprovoked shark bites, including 1 fatality all US coastal waters.

Data current as of: February 10, 2001

© International Shark Attack File
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida