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Man who ‘should’ve died’ after losing leg from shark attack reveals how to avoid one

Man who ‘should’ve died’ after losing leg from shark attack reveals how to avoid one

Despite losing his leg, Mike Coots was back in the water three weeks later and now has a whole book of Shark snaps

In 1997 Mike Coots had his leg ripped clean off by a shark, with so much blood lost that doctors said he should have died.

Aged just 18 at the time, he was body boarding near Hawaii when he lost his limb to the tiger shark.

And you might think after an encounter so traumatic, Coots wouldn’t want to ever be near the apex predators again.

However, the amputee was quickly back in the water and has been a big advocate for shark conservation in the decades since.

Coots now captures incredible photographs and videos of sharks, with a photography book Shark: Portraits on sale.

Although he did warn the MailOnline Travel that people can often put themselves in danger by getting too distracted by their camera.

“They get caught up in looking through the camera viewfinder too much and are unaware of what’s happening around them, especially if there are multiple sharks in the area," he explained.

The traumatic experience hasn't stopped Coots.

Coots also shared advice on how to avoid a shark attack, after surviving one of his own.

He advised that the ‘safest way to be underwater’ with the mega fish is to have ‘clear visibility and lots of eye contact’ with them.

“If they know you are there, it’s much safer,” he clamed.

And another key thing is probably the most difficult: don’t panic.

The shark lover says those are splashing about will have you looking ‘like an injured animal’ and this will likely provoke an attack.

So, Coots urged: “Don’t splash, panic, and if underwater always look at the shark and make yourself seem large.”

Oh, and while you might just want to get out of there ASAP, it’s likely a mistake as he warned: “Don’t turn your back on a shark."

Mike regularly films his encounters.

If you’re suspecting a shark is about to attack you (I mean, jinx, touch wood here) then there’s red flags you can check for as Coots explained they will ‘drop their pectoral fins and arch their body and swim erratically’.

To be honest, I’d just rather not end up in any sort of situation where I’m having to look out for any of those things.

Let alone keep getting back in the sea with one after its torn my leg off, and Coots was reportedly back in just three weeks after.

He’s even spoken at the United Nations on the subject of shark conservation.

The shark loving guy previously said: “It's been a really fun experience to use my unique situation to connect with other people who are passionate about the same thing as me.

"Sharks aren't just man-eaters, they are invaluable to the balance and health of our oceans."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@mikecoots/ Getty Stock Image

Topics: World News, Animals, Shark Attacks, Sharks