Its summer, the news is a little light on, so the media begins to focus on shark attacks:
Some may have considered the three fatal shark attacks in West Australian waters in 2011 to be a tragic coincidence.
To be fair, the article talks a lot about the positive research that is being done to deter sharks, but nonetheless it is a predictable story in the media in the Australian summer.
I’m not going to suggest for a second that shark attacks are anything but horrific for those involved, but they should also be put in context. The Australian Shark Attack File, Taronga Zoo shows that in the 222 years since 1791 there have been 201 fatal, unprovoked shark attacks in Australia. Thats less than 1 per year!
Compare that to the 121 people who drown at the beach year in Australia. Or the following accidental causes of death in Australia in 2010 (Australian Bureau of Statistics):
- Transport accident: 1502
- Accidental falls: 1648
- Assault: 217
Of course, these accidental causes of death are quite low in the top 20 causes of death in Australia in 2010 - a list which is dominated by cardio vascular disease and cancer.