A shark got perilously close to a young girl who was boogie-boarding in the ocean at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina recently.
In a video captured by the girl’s mother, a black shark fin juts out of the waves and approaches the girl, getting within inches of her before she stands up and runs away.
Watch the video here:
Sara Oister Had a Close Call with a Shark
Sara Oister, 11, had been enjoying the South Carolina beach when she saw the fin emerging from the water, moving towards her.
“Even though I know we’re in their habitat, I didn’t think I was going into that day thinking I was going to be right next to a shark,” she told ABC 6.
Meanwhile, her mom Nicole was on land videotaping Sara frolicking in the waves and caught the encounter on video.
“I was taking video of her, and all of a sudden, she starts running out of water,” said Nicole. “She said she saw a fin coming up out of the water towards her… I looked back on the video to see if I had captured it, I did.”
Sightings Are Up, Possibly Due to More Humans in the Water
There are nearly 40 species of sharks to be found in the waters along Myrtle Beach. The popular South Carolina summer destination has seen over 50 shark attacks during the past century (though the last reported fatality was in 1852).
Still, shark sightings are reportedly on the rise in Myrtle Beach and elsewhere. And George Burgess, director emeritus of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said that’s due to human activity, not any unusual behavior on the part of sharks.
“What we are seeing, of course, is an increased population of humans that are in the water every year,” he told ABC 6. “So the density of humans in the waters is higher than ever. We’re engaging in aquatic activities that put us at risk.”
There was one shark attack on South Carolina beaches in 2021.
However, all that is not to say that humans have to choose between swimming and safety. Here are some steps you can take to stay safe in the waters:
Remain aware of your surroundings at all times when at the beach.
Remember that shallow areas can serve as shark nurseries.
Swim in groups if you can, and try not to move erratically.
Don’t bring shiny jewelry into the water. Sharks can mistake that for fish scales.