Shark bite season is upon us, but your risk is low

photo by flickr user MrWee

As the temperature heats up and we take to the great Atlantic for cooling relief, we run the risk of encountering oceanic wildlife - some with many rows of teeth.  But what's the real risk of a shark attack?

We've all seen Jaws and read the headlines each summer about clashes with sharks off our shore.  It's hard to not connect those two dots and assume interaction with these pointy-toothed fish is imminent every time we set foot into the ocean.  However, according to this great article from, you're more likely to be struck by lightening and the most recent fatal shark attack in South Carolina was in 1882.

One fact I didn't know, but it makes a lot of sense, is that sharks are attracted to fishing piers as there are, obviously, a lot of bait fish and grody fish innards from fisherman cleaning their catch and dumping the remains in the water.  The story also includes an interview with a public safety official and his recounts of two shark attacks in North Myrtle Beach and their foolish causes.  Note to self - never try to pet a shark.

Now just in case this information doesn't calm your fears, here are a few tips for avoiding contact with a shark and what to do if you are attacked.  Who knew a shiny bathing suit could be so wrong?

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