Cherry Grove Beach and Sharks – Breaking Through to Discover the Truth
There has been a lot of talk lately about sharks in Cherry Grove. We want to try to dispel the fear and tackle the topic for those that live here and visit. First, of course there are sharks here. It’s the ocean. That’s their home. We would be a bit foolish to think that our waters are devoid of these majestic creatures. That would be similar to taking a walk in the woods and wondering if there were snakes around. The most recent photos that have surfaced were taken from a resort near a pier. Where there is a pier, there will be fish. It’s pretty common.
There are a variety of shark species native to our waters. The most common are the spinner shark which is harmless to humans, the black tip shark which seldom approaches humans, the tiger shark which can be aggressive, and the bull shark which tends to be aggressive and is known to swim in shallow waters. Since the spinner sharks and black tips pose relatively zero threat to people, we will skip those and talk a bit about the other two species.
Tiger sharks are the second most common named in attacks on humans. In 2013, a large tiger shark was spotted three miles off the coast of North Myrtle Beach. Read that again – three miles off the coast. I’m not sure about you but the last time I was at the beach, I didn’t swim three miles offshore. Although these sharks have a range that covers thousands of miles, they tend to stay in deeper waters and are not among those species frequently seen here in Cherry Grove.
Aside from Great Whites, bull sharks typically evoke the most fear in people. Bull sharks are known for their aggressive behavior and opportunistic feeding patterns. These sharks are sometimes seen near fishing piers – likely, to take advantage of the bait in the waters as well as the fish that get tossed back into the ocean. Although they are not uncommon here in Cherry Grove, the likelihood of encountering one while swimming is very, very slim.
You are far more likely to die from a venomous plant or snake, an airplane crash, or a lightning strike than a shark attack. The odds of dying from a dog bite are even higher than dying from a shark attack. In fact, sharks are responsible for about 82 unprovoked attacks around the world each year. About eight of those result in death.
The last fatal attack in South Carolina took place in Folly Beach in 2005 (by an unknown shark species). So, what are your odds of dying from a shark attack? 1 in 3,748,067.
Want to know what else is more likely to kill you? Here is a list of annual deaths from odd occurrences.
People killed by cows – 25
Folks killed by jellyfish – 40
People killed by vending machines – 13
Compare that to people killed annually by sharks – 5 – and you may feel a bit better about getting in the water.
Still scared? There are some things you can do to make these odds even lower.
1. Avoid swimming near piers. Sharks will often frequent these waters to take advantage of chum in the water, cast off fish, and fish that are being reeled in. (Again, the most recent photos were taken near a pier.)
2. Do not wear shiny jewelry or bright colors. Sharks can be attracted to these because in cloudy water they can appear to look like small fish scales.
3. Avoid swimming in cloudy water. Water that is churned up or choppy often attracts sharks because bait fish tend to flourish in these waters. In addition, the sharks find it difficult to see – meaning they could be more likely to bite something they think is a fish.
4. Avoid swimming near sand bars. Sand bars are natural hunting grounds for sharks and you are more likely to see them in these areas.
5. Enter the water with a group of people. Sharks are more likely to bite a solitary individual than to seek out someone in a group.
6. Pay attention to warning flags at lifeguard stands. If dangerous marine life has been spotted in the area, the flag will likely be purple or blue indicating it is unsafe to be in the water. This can include jellyfish, stingrays, marine snakes, and other potentially dangerous aquatic life. Red flags are indicative of strong current and mean that swimming is currently forbidden.
7. When in the water, try to move fluidly. Erratic movements can attract sharks as they will mistake you for prey.
Here are a few other fun facts about sharks.
- Sharks prefer men. More than 90% of all attacks have happened to men.
- Sharks typically attack those engaging in water recreation activities like boogie boarding, surfing, or simply floating on a raft.
- More than 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year. This is quite sad to think about.
- In the U.S., Florida has the highest rate of shark incidents followed by Hawaii. Next in line are California, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
The bottom line is you are more likely to win the lottery or be attacked by a hippo than to be bitten by a shark. Are they out there? Of course, it’s the ocean and that is their home. Will they bother you? There is never a guarantee but it is so highly unlikely that you may as well enjoy your vacation.
As for me, I’ll be suiting up and hitting the surf every chance I get! The water is beautiful and I refuse to let irrational fear stop me from enjoying the beach to the fullest.
If you want to learn even more, here’s a great article on the topic.
#shark #sharkincherrygrove #northmyrtlebeach #cherrygrovebeach
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Boulineau’s Inc. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethics group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything. Sources used include The Florida Museum of Natural History, myrtlebeach.com, TripSavvy.com, and lovemyrtlebeach.net).