A Fishy Situation


Juan Oliphant/oneoceandiving.com / via Reuter

Tatianna Jewell, Staff Writer/Media Production

Have you ever been to the beach and wondered if there were any sharks circling around you? If you haven’t yet, you might want to consider it before the warmer weather rolls around. 

On December 8, 1963, a legend named Rodney Fox was dragged down to the bottom of the ocean by a shark and survived to tell the story. He was competing in a spearfishing competition when the attack occurred. The Great White ripped his body wide open. His diaphragm was punctured, his lungs were torn open, all of his left side ribs were shattered, and his shoulder blade and left artery were exposed all while still being dragged to the bottom of the ocean. After 462 stitches, he developed a dedication to protecting the misunderstood animal.

Growing up by the beach, I was always careless about my surroundings while swimming in the ocean until one day while visiting the beach with my family. I was swimming around in the shallow parts of the water. Suddenly my mother grabbed my arm and dragged me across the beach. I was wondering why until I looked over and saw a shark’s shadow in the wave that was about to come crashing down.

Sharks have always been a silent but deadly issue around the world. Many have grown a fear of the ocean just because of the possibility of sharks being close to them. On the Eastern Coastline, there are more than 40 different species of sharks. It has become common to encounter a shark while surfing or swimming in the ocean. 

The number of sharks migrating to the East Coast has risen in 2023 and could become a greater concern. The last two shark attacks of 2022 occurred in Myrtle Beach. Both of them happened on the same day only ten blocks away from each other. The first was at 75th Avenue. The woman was a tourist from Pennsylvania. While she was basking in the sun and walking in thigh-high water, a shark attacked her lower arm. The last attack happened later that day. The lady was bitten on the leg.

Surfing has been around for years. Sharks have not stopped the brave souls from riding the tallest waves they can find. 

Ashlynn Donahue, a junior, shared, “As a surfer, I have seen so many sharks in the ocean. I have only ever seen a few close to me, but when that happens you just get out of the water.”

Off the East Coast, a 1,437-pound shark was recently spotted. The shark was named Breton by a non-profit marine research group called OCEARCH. The main reason for the shark population increasing around the East Coast is that their main meal of seals is rebounding with their population. South Carolina has become the fourth in the country for most shark attacks, ranging to 111 attacks.

One of OCEACH’s juvenile sharks named Jekyll was pinged nearly 20 feet out from Jekyll Island, Georgia on April 17, 2023. A shark tracker might become a must-have for any upcoming beach trips this summer. 

The chances of a shark attacking you are one in 3.7 million. Most encounters have not resulted in death. Even though an attack is not very common, you never know what could happen or when you could get stuck in a fishy situation.