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North America’s Top Shark-Attack Beaches! at Swim At Your Own Risk

North America’s Top Shark-Attack Beaches!

If you’re planning your summer beach vacation, you might want to cross a few destinations off your wish list. Here’s a list of North America’s sharkiest beaches (according to Forbes Traveler).


1. New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Thanks to thousands of annual beachgoers and untold toothy predators hunting 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, Fla. 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
Number two 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. Bolinas Beach, Calif.
Thanks in large part to Jaws, great white sharks inspire unparalleled fear when it comes to swimming in the ocean. At Bolinas Beach, a secluded town with a namesake beach that’s just north of San Francisco, 15-foot-long beasts and known to dwell under the waves where surfers play.


4. Beaches of Brevard County, Fla.
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 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.


5. Kahana, Maui
The deep blue water of Kahana Beach, near its namesake town on the west cost of Maui, is home to sea turtles, humpback whales and… tiger sharks. Laleh Mohajerani, executive director of the shark conservation organization Iemanya Oceanica, says the massive predators swim near the protective offshore reef that makes the beach a popular swimming spot.


6. 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 off the Bahamas has focused attention on these tropical waters. Patric Douglas, owner of Shark Diver, an ocean guiding outfit in San Francisco, says they’re “among the shark-iest places on the planet.” He’s personally seen 14-foot-long tiger sharks off the beaches where millions of tourists swim and sunbathe each year.


7. Stinson Beach, Calif.
In the shadow of Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais, great white sharks come to swim in the shallows of Stinson Beach. Patric Douglas has sighted them at this beach—which is a neighboring stretch of sand eastward of Bolinas Beach (also on this list, in the number three spot)—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 says.


8. La Paz, Mexico
The International Shark Attack File reports three unprovoked attacks in the waters off Baja California Sur over the past decades. But the beaches of La Paz—a harbor city of 190,000 people—are relatively safe, despite the hammerheads and giant whale sharks that swim nearby. The latter is a filter feeder that’s the largest fish species on Earth, and a resident of these waters.


9. Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Peter Benchley’s original 1974 novel, “Jaws,” was inspired by 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, shark sightings are rare, but the legend lives on in the surf and swells of these tepid Atlantic waters.

[source]

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6 Responses to “North America’s Top Shark-Attack Beaches!”


  1. 1Brenda Love

    Or just stay home and go to the Water Park instead.

  2. 2Sharky

    Actually, I am more afraid of the white trash at the water park than I am of the White Sharks at the beach.

  3. 3sarah

    sharky, that is hilarious.

  4. 4Lisa

    I surf at Stinson Beach. Every weekend. I know about the risk-I have that “It won’t happen to me attitude.”

  5. 5David

    I liked sharks too till my little brother was attacked lost his leg and an arm and his water park pass . NOOOOOOOOOOO

  6. 6Liz

    Wow! Just to think that we’ve swam in some of these beaches.

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