Of the 82 recorded shark attacks in S.C., only 35 percent have occurred in Horry County. The highest number of attacks have occurred in the Charleston area, including the only two fatal incidents on record.
Both in South Carolina and worldwide, the number of unprovoked shark attacks has grown at a steady pace since 1900, with each decade having more attacks than the previous. This growth in shark interactions does not necessarily reflect an increase in the rate of shark attacks, though, as it most likely reflects the growing overall human population and the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the water by humans.
Despite the false perception that sharks are killing machines, sharks actually kill less than one person in the U.S. each year. Here are some of the things that are responsible for more deaths than sharks each year, worldwide:
Number of people killed by texting
Number of people killed by hippos
Number of people killed by deer
# of children killed by hot dogs
Number of people killed by jellyfish
Number of people killed by dogs
Number of people killed by ants
Number of people killed by cows
Number of people killed by horses
Number killed by vending machines
Number who die in fireworks accidents
Number of shark attack deaths
To reduce your already miniscule odds of being bitten, here are a few quick tips on how to avoid an encounter:
Storms can make the water cloudy and churn up the bait fish that lead sharks to feed.
Because visibility is low at dawn and dusk, sharks could easily mistake a human for prey.
Swimming near areas where prey are plentiful can be dangerous. Fishermen often dump bait or guts, which can also attract sharks.
Avoid steep drop-offs and the areas between sandbars. These are among sharks' favorite places to hunt for prey and breed.
Avoid splashing on the surface of the water, and try to swim smoothly at all times. Avoid sudden or erratic movements when in the presence of sharks, as these may draw attention to you and, worse yet, give you the appearance of being wounded.
Choppy water can stir up prey and affect visibility for sharks. The waves in Myrtle Beach are generally calm compared with Florida and California.
Always try and stay in a group when you are swimming in the ocean. Sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
Coastal areas where sharks have recently been will often have posted warnings, and even in the absence of these, locals may be able to alert you to potential dangers. Stay out of the water if warned to do so.
Shiny jewelry worn while swimming can cause reflections that can be mistaken for a wounded fish.
If a shark does attempt to bite you, don't remain still. Sharks respond to power and are more likely to flee if you fight back by hitting them in the nose, eyes or gills.
According to the International Shark Attack File, there have been more than 1,800 unprovoked shark attacks in the period between 1900-2010. Here's a breakdown of the attackers and victims of these incidents:
The highest number of shark attack victims are classified "surface recreationalists," meaning they were surfing or floating atop the water on a board or floatation device when bitten. Swimmers, bathers and waders account for the majority of the rest of attacks.Roll over chart to see full breakdown
White, tiger and bull sharks account for the majority of attacks because they are large species and are commonly found in areas where humans enter the water. In all, 34 species have been involved in the 828 attacks where victims have identified their attacker.
Here are a few interesting facts about sharks and shark attacks in Myrtle Beach. Test your knowledge of these creatures below:
The 2014 yearly total of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide was 72, according to the International Shark Attack File. Was this more or less than the previous year? View Answer
On average, five people die from shark attacks worldwide each year. How many shark attack deaths have been reported thus far in 2015? View Answer
Despite their deadly reputation, sharks are actually significantly less dangerous to humans than we are to them. How many sharks are killed each year by humans? View Answer
In 2014, the largest portion of reported shark attacks (62.5%) occurred in the United States. What country had the next highest number of attacks reported? View Answer
Of all shark attacks reported in the United States in 2014, Florida had the largest percentage (54%) of incidents. Which state had the next highest number of attacks? View Answer
Based on data over the past 100 years from the International Shark Attack File, which gender accounts for the majority of victims in shark attacks? View Answer
Though we may not have many shark attacks in Myrtle Beach, there's no doubt sharks have put their stamp on the Grand Strand. Here's a look at 8 great shark-themed attractions and places where you can find sharks in the area:
Not only can you see several varieties of shark as you move through the dangerous reef attraction, but you can even get up close and personal and touch a shark here.Read more »
So, you probably won't spot any predators here, but you can enjoy a bite to eat with an oceanfront view and enjoy a tasty LandShark Lager while you're at it.Read more »
Located at The Reef Resort, this beach bar and restaurant not only has an oceanfront view, but also offers meals to satisfy even the most furious feeding frenzy. The restaurant challenges any visitor to finsh its humungous Jaws Burger within 30 minutes for a free T-shirt and free meal. This heartstopping 2-lb. burger is topped with French fries, bacon, chili, a fried egg, onion, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, American, Swiss, cheddar and nacho cheese.
This popular Broadway at the Beach nightclub features a beachy, surfing theme complete with an outdoor tiki bar and a enormous shark head coming out of the stage where the DJs spin their tunes.Read more »
One of the most family friendly attractions in town, The Myrtle Beach Pelicans not only have a beach-themed seating area full of sand, but they also have a shark for a mascot. Known as "Rally Shark" this lovable character brings lots of fun between innings with his best pal, Splash the Pelican.Read more »
The honor of largest shark in town — and perhaps the world — belongs to the enormous creatures that make up the entrance to these beachy shopping centers. You can find them both in North Myrtle Beach and Garden City.
Make a visit to one of the area's most popular hotels, Captain's Quarters Resort, and you're sure to run into the property's mascot, Salty, hanging by the pool and posing for photos with guests.Read more »
There are a pair of popular photo spots in town, one at Second Avenue Pier and another at the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk where visitors can pose next to the "catch of the day" — a huge shark. Luckily, these sharks won't bite (they're not real!), but they will make for fun vacation memories.