It’s the most wonderful time of the year, at least when viewing from the safety of behind a tv screen. Shark Week is back. The popular themed-week is returning to the Discovery Channel, and it could not come at a more fitting time.
With the return of Shark Week to the tv sets, comes the return of sharks to the water. They’ve always been in the oceans, but now, they are making their presense known.
Over the past few weeks, shark attacks have been on the rise off the coast of North Carolina. The return of Shark Week is an appropriate time for a reminder and PSA about safe swimming and caution while at the beaches. George Burgess, head of the Florida Program for Shark Research at the Florida Museum of National History says that the fact is, there are both more sharks and more swimmers now at the beaches and this is something we have to be aware of.
Beach-goers are reminded that a trip to the oceanfront is not the same as a trip to the local outdoor pool. It’s our responsibility, as swimmers, to practice increased caution while at the beach.
With more than two shark attacks over the last three days in the Carolinas, North Carolina has had six shark attacks in the last month. The affected areas of shark attacks spans 500 miles along the coast.
The most recent attack came this week, leaving an 18-year-old swimmer injured with bites to his right leg, buttocks and both hands. He was taken to hospital in serious condition where he still remains.
This attack followed the day after a 47-year-old man was attacked while swimming in the ocean. Also on that same day, a 43-year-old man yelled a warning that he saw a shark nearby in the water but was attacked immediately after the warning by a second shark that he did not see.
Though Shark Week may glamourize shark attacks and make light of the danger while also educating, it’s important for swimmers and beach-goes to be extra vigilant this time of year.