New Smyrna Beach: Shark attack

Top 12 USA Beaches With The Highest Shark Attack History

The following USA beaches have the highest Shark Attack Histories.

New Smyrna Beach: Shark attack
New Smyrna Beach (Photo: Gamweb/Wikimedia Commons, cc by-s.a. 3.0)

The chances of featuring in a shark attack are still low at 1 in 11.5 million as per the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack data.

For Americans, the risk of a shark attack during your lifetime is about 1 in 3.7 million. Meaning there’s a higher likelihood of dying from heart disease, lightning strike, or exploding fireworks.

But however low shark attack risk is, it still happens. In fact, the USA still leads globally with 53 recorded fatalities so far.

Shark sightings frequently lead to the closure of many popular beaches too.

Environmental and oceanic factors tend to play a huge role in shark attack occurrences in certain waters. For this reason, the Eastern coastal beaches of the USA record more shark attacks than the Western coast. In addition, the warm weather of areas like Hawaii and Florida attracts many sharks and tourists; increasing the probability of shark attack incidents.

Another factor is the species of shark common in the vicinity of a particular beach. The western coast’s sharks, majorly the Great White Shark are oceanic sharks feeding mainly in deep waters away from human recreational activities. Thus there are fewer incidences of shark attacks.

But the eastern coast’s sharks, like the Bull Shark and the Tiger Shark, are inshore sharks feeding in shallower waters.

So, to be safe, watch out when on vacation in any of these beaches below.

12 USA Beaches With The Highest Shark Attack History

1) Volusia

Volusia in Florida has a record high of shark attacks of any state in the US.

Through history, 275 shark attacks have been recorded; the period between 2000 and 2015 accounts for 176 of those. Luckily, none was fatal.

Due to the weather conditions around Daytona and the New Smyrna beach, thousands of tourists flock here for the warm weather and recreational activities.

In fact, chances are, if you have ever gone swimming in Volusia, you’ve been as close to a shark as 3 meters away. That’s why it’s named the “shark attack capital of the world.”

If that doesn’t make you wary, note that New Smyrna Beach has the highest shark-related incidents per square mile than any other beach in the world.

2) Brevard

Putting Florida’s rank higher in shark incidence states is Brevard.

Over history, there have been 130 recorded shark incidences. 56 of them happened from the period between 2000 and 2015. Cocoa Beach, a favorite beach spot in Brevard accounted for four shark attacks in 2015.

Titusville beach is also among the beaches in Brevard flocking with sharks and people.

Thus multiple “shark rescues” take place in any single day.

3) Palm Beach

Another Florida beach, Palm Beach had 24 shark attack incidences from the period between 2000 and 2015.

Thousands of sharks during their migration pass through Palm Beach’s coast. Some time back, news agency CNN on filming thousands migrating off the coast asked people to keep off the waters.

However, the NOAA played down this claim hinting that there are no fatalities yet.

The blacktip shark calls this beach home.

Be watchful.

4) Mauii

Scientists claim sharks have inhabited Hawaiian waters for centuries.

The warm beaches, however, have not stopped people from enjoying recreational activities closer to shark habitats. From 2000 to 2015 alone, 35 incidences of shark attacks were recorded, increasing or decreasing as the years roll by.

A record high was in 2012 where over 60 percent of shark attacks in Hawaii occurred in Maui.

The next time you plan a vacation in Hawaii, be sure not to interrupt the Maui sharks in their natural residence.

5) Oahu

Hawaiian Oahu made headlines in 2015 for the high number of shark attacks despite the 12-incident record high of 2013.

The case was so radical that the authorities had to debate on closing the beach entirely after a victim had to be hospitalized.

This Hawaiian beaches average three to six shark attacks in a year.

Volusia County is commonly referred to as the shark attack capital of the world.

6) St. Johns

Out of the 37 historically recorded shark attacks in Florida’s St. Johns, 17 of which occurred after the turn of the millennium 15 years onwards.

Home to famous tourist beaches Crescent, St. Augustine and Vedra beaches, you should watch out. Though few attacks have been documented, it neighbors Duval to the south. A famous shark hotspot.

7) Martin

Martin in Florida is a favorite tourist destination for its many state parks and Jupiter Island.

Though only one attack has been recorded as fatal, Martin’s beach has one of the highest shark attack rates in the US.

Martin captured the headlines when in 2010, a 38-year-old kitesurfer was attacked by a group of sharks 500 yards off the beach in Stuart.

8) Duval

Located in the warm waters of Florida, you have several choice options from the adjacent Jacksonville beach and Atlantic beach for your vacation.

One woman was attacked in 2015 though. Luckily she survived as she was treated on the scene.

9) Charleston

Charleston recorded 20 incidences of shark attacks over 2000 and 2015.

Of the entire shark attacks in Charleston, 2 were fatal. However, the rise in unprovoked shark attacks over the years is cause enough to be on the lookout when you visit this beach.

Overall, South Carolina has recorded 124 unprovoked shark attacks.

10) St. Lucie

St. Lucie has had 31 documented shark attacks to date. Not a high number to cause a stir as such coupled with the fact that there has not been any fatal incidence.

However, significant shark sightings have made the local authorities close down beaches. St. Lucie has the Jensen beach, Walton Rocks beach and the Blind creek beach adjacent to it.

11) Horry

South Carolina’s Horry harbors Myrtle beach. A favorite tourist holiday beach.

Historically, Horry has recorded 30 shark attacks 18 of which happened between 2000 and 2015.

12) Kaua’i

Sharks are indigenous to Hawaii, the warm coastal beaches draws them in. That’s an ideal environment for many shark species to thrive. So another spot to be careful in.

Note that the above information isn’t intended to frighten people. But it’s best to be aware and cautious. Remember also that most times, these shark attacks are not fatal. Victims get away with non-fatal injuries or chunks bitten off theirs surfing boards.

Interestingly, 2015 had a record 98 shark attacks, but 2016 was much calmer. As a matter of fact, the USA had no fatal shark attack in 2016. For 2017, there have been attacks but the data is still incomplete.







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  1. Sharks have a very bad reputation but the number of attacks (and deaths) is just slim considering humans are invading their territory and most of the times we are mistaken for food they don’t attack us just because they are aggressive.

  2. I love to watch sharks swim and interact with each other. I think we should remember that the ocean is their home and you are a visitor make sure you are aware of your surroundings before going in. It’s so sad how sharks are treated with the movie Jaws more people set out to just kill innocent sharks. I wish there were better laws set so they could exist and not be threaten like the are now.

    1. The Japanese and their insane “sexual aphrodisiacs” and “shark fin soup” has put sharks on the road to extinction. Those massive fleets – everyone on board should have one leg chopped off and tossed in the ocean not the sharks.

  3. Was just at New Smyrna Beach swimming on Christmas Eve with my son… Kinda freaked out now. We’re from the Great Lakes (Detroit) so we swim freely & without worry for the most part…. should’ve Googled. He’s only 15, but he’s a BIG dude….a shark wouldn’t let him go.

  4. My great grandson is going to be a shark sciencest and I’m so proud of him. lm so happy that another gen. Is going to help save this planet. We have to save the sharks they clean the sea and help keep other fish and mammels from getting to many and over run beaches.

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