Local News

Swimmers Take Extra Precautions On N.C. Shores After Virginia's Recent Shark Attack

Posted September 3, 2001 5:52 a.m. EDT

— Swimmers are taking extra precautions on North Carolina's shores after a recent shark attack in Virginia.

Tim Farlow drove all the way from Raleigh to Atlantic Beach for a little rest and recreation. He is keeping an eye on the water for sharks, but sees no reason to stay out.

"We're in their territory, but I just don't see any need to change our swimming habits," he says. "We're just very careful when we go out there."

Sabrina Adams of Wilson is also letting her kids swim while she watches from shore.

"I'm sitting out here watching; just in case something happens. I could run out there," she says.

Rich Bamberger, an educator at the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores, says swimmers should be careful, but should also realize that this summer's attention is more of a media issue than a shark issue.

"In terms of animals, bees and wasps kill far more people than sharks ever have or will," he says.

Sharks routinely swim closer than we realize, but they always have. Bamberger says you are more likely to be hurt driving to the coast than you are swimming at the beach.

Experts say there are some easy things you can do to lessen your chance of running into a shark:

  • Avoid brightly colored clothing and jewelry, especially in murky water.
  • Stay out of the water around dusk and dawn -- the time sharks are most likely to be feeding.
  • The number of attacks is actually down this summer along North Carolina's coast. Last year, five people were injured by sharks. This year, none have been reported.