Geesus! I was just out fishing yesterday, and hung my legs over the side regularly. Like NOHUHU said, I'm never too comfortable doing it, but I do, just to break the monotony. I did hook up with a 6 footer (that does not include the 2' long tail.) Probably a 150 lb shark. I don't fish for sharks. It is pathetic. They are a nuisance fish in my mind. Besides, I'm always filled with a bit of anxiety when they hookup. Will they take all of my line, or worse, even my rod & reel? And, what if they decide to attack their tormentor (me). They are certainly capable of doing that. Fortunately, they usually cut the line before long, 30 sec would be a long time. But, sometimes that does not happen right away. More anxiety. Their teeth are very sharp and their skin is like sand paper. The one I hooked yesterday was unusual in that he leaped out of the water 3 times, before cutting the line.
Often sharks bump things, to see how it will respond--no response means it is probably not edible. When I'm hanging my legs over the side, I have in my mind, any bump--get your feet out of the water! Here in the Everglades the water is very murky. Logically, that is a +/-. Maybe they can't see you so well--the plus. They bite at something on you that attracts their attention, and they can't see it well enough to realize it is not something they normally eat. They've made a mistake--the negative. I have been standing in a couple feet of water and had sharks swim right by me w/o acknowledgement.
As I understand it, you die by bleeding out from a shark bite. Bad luck for that fisherman. There was a video of a shark bite on TV a yr or 2 ago. A group was doing a video shoot for some reason on some Caribbean island or some place. There was crystal clear water. The 100-200 lb shark came up to the director standing in the water waist deep. It seemed to go up to his calf, smell it for a moment, and then took a bite. The fellow got medical attention fairly quickly and survived.
Shark attacks and subsequent deaths are very news worthy, but, and I was thinking about it after I heard of the Hawaiian death a day or 2 ago, but probably for every shark attack death, dozens of people, maybe hundreds of people die in car accidents here in Florida, and these deaths hardly make the newspaper. I certainly don't want to go in a shark attack, but people will be able to say, "he died doing what he liked." Great. Not really. I don't like catching sharks.
I sail: Key Biscayne, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein