In an average year, about 40 people are "attacked" by sharks in our area. I put that in quotes because some of these alleged attacks probably are provoked. What's the reason? In a nutshell, we're potential meals. Think about it. In the water we're big, meaty animals completely out of our element and defenseless. Often, though, sharks seem to mistake us for seals, their more usual prey. They don't see very well and typically take a bite and then back off to get a taste and perhaps let the prey weaken or die from loss of blood before going in for real. It's safer for them that way. That's the only reason so many people survive shark attacks. And don't forget that the number of people attacked by sharks is infinitesimal compared to the number of sharks attacked by people.