A rare spate of shark attacks last summer off Russia's Pacific coast, apparently, still weighs heavily on the minds of beachgoers in the eastern city of Vladivostok, which is preparing for its busy summer tourism season.
The Moscow Times reports a boom in the sale of shark-repelling devices that emit an electronic field designed to keep sharks at bay. Sales are said to be brisk, despite the hefty sum of about $780 per device.
The attacks last summer, including two within 24 hours, were rare and sensational events. In one case a 25-year-old man lost both arms to shark bites while swimming near the village of Vityaz, about 140 miles south of Vladivostok.
Some experts theorized that the unusual presence of sharks might have been influenced by climate change. Authorities in Vladivostok last week cautioned against swimming off the more popular beaches on islands near the city because of the danger posed by sharks.
As for the electronic repelling devices, they might seem to be a worthy investment and might be effective in most cases when sharks are present. But sharks, despite their ultra-sensitive snouts, are unpredictable and the only sure-fire guarantee against attack is to stay out of the water.
In any case, here's hoping that what happened last year was simply an anomaly, not to be repeated anytime soon.