The Top 10 North American Shark-Attack Beaches!
Yikes, did that get your attention? Perhaps you are planning a mega yacht charter or a luxury sailing charter, and you’re now wondering if "Jaws" is out there in the deep blue, waiting to take a bite out of your vacation.
Well, if you’re planning a Florida yacht charter or even a Bahama yacht charter, you have little to worry about. Shark attacks of people swimming from their luxury yacht charter vessels are a extremely rare – actually an unheard of occurrence!
Before we all became green-friendly eco-conscious travelers, boaters, (from crews on Caribbean yacht charter vacations to bareboat enthusiasts to cruise ships), used to throw garbage overboard. Now, the real danger is to those land lubbers putting a toe in the water at the beach.
In case you have friends who aren’t lucky enough to own a superyacht, or they prefer luxury sailing charter vacations, you might warn them about these beaches:
1. New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Due to its thousands of annual beachgoers, as well as its toothy inhabitants at hunt offshore, New Smyrna is the shark attack capital of the world. That’s according to the International Shark Attack File, which cites 210 attacks in the beach’s home county of Volusia, Florida. But miles of white sand and consistent surf breaks continue to draw vacationers and locals alike into New Smyrna’s waters.
2. North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii
No. 2 on the International Shark Attack File for unprovoked attacks is Oahu, where tiger sharks, Galapagos sharks, and sandbar sharks congregate in high numbers, especially near beaches on the island’s north shore. This doesn’t stop surfers, who flock to Velzyland Beach, the Leftovers Break, and dozens of additional wave-beaten beaches where sharks search and swim.
3. Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Source material for "Jaws," a 1974 novel by Peter Benchley – and later a movie by Steven Spielberg – came from incidents at this New Jersey beach in 1916. In an unprecedented 11 days, five major shark attacks took place along the Jersey Shore, four of which were fatal. Reports cited blood turning the water red and sharks following victims toward the beach. Today, sharks are rare, but the legend lives on in the surf and swells of these tepid Atlantic waters.
4. West End, Grand Bahamas Island
Though it didn’t happen at a beach, the death of an Austrian lawyer who was diving with sharks in February 2008 off the Bahamas has sharpened attention n these tropical waters, which Patrick Douglas, owner of Shark Diver, an ocean guiding outfit in San Francisco, said are "among the shark-iest places on the planet." He has seen 14-foot-long tiger sharks offshore from beaches were thousands of tourists swim and sun each year.
5. Stinson Beach, California
In the shadow of Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais, Stinson Beach is a spot where great white sharks swim into the shallows. Patrick Douglas said he has sighted them at Stinson – which is a neighboring stretch of sand east from Bolinas Beach (No. 3 on the list) – in less than 20 feet of water. "They’re coming to feed on seals, though it’s not uncommon for surfers to see them," he said.
6. Beaches of Brevard County, Florida
In the past 100 years, there have been 90 reported shark confrontations on beaches in this county on Florida’s east coast. Visitors head east from Orlando to the ocean to dip their toes in the tepid waters at Cocoa Beach, Jetty Park, and Klondike Beach, a 24-mile-long wilderness beach accessible only by foot in Canaveral National Seashore preserve.
7. Horry County (Myrtle Beach), South Carolina
South Carolina has seen more than 50 total shark attacks over the past century, according to the International Shark Attack File. Of those, 16 attacks are recorded off the beaches of Horry County, where the town of Myrtle Beach is famous as a tourist destination. The good news: The International Shark Attack File cites no fatal shark attacks in South Carolina since 1852.
8. Solana Beach, California
A freak great white attack in 2008 at Solana Beach in San Diego County, California, killed a 66-year-old swimmer. He was on a morning swim, training with a group when the attack occurred. Solana Beach, home to a population of seals, is at the periphery of the corridor where great sharks commonly roam.
9. Galveston, Texas
The International Shark Attack File cites one fatality and 12 attacks since 1911 at the beaches of Galveston, Texas, which is a city on an island on the Gulf Coast. It is by no means an attack hot spot, but swimmers are justified in their concern as to what’s roaming offshore.
10. Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Over the course of a month last spring, the beaches near Zihuatanejo, a city on the Pacific Coast north of Acapulco, saw three shark attacks and two fatalities. A shark hunt ensued, with local fisherman baiting lines and patrolling waters where surfers regularly bob.
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