You may be considering going to Myrtle Beach soon, to go swimming for scuba diving. However, you may be curious about what the most common types of sharks can be seen at Myrtle Beach.
It is known that there are various species of sharks that are found around the coast of South Carolina in America. For some of you, this may not be surprising, especially if you go to Myrtle Beach to see sharks.
Studies have shown that there are about 40 shark species found at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Some of the most common species include tiger, bull, spinner and even great white sharks.
A lot of sharks have been tagged so that researchers can keep a close eye on them. While also tracking their movements to gain a better understanding of these creatures.
In this article, we will be discussing more about the 9 most common types of sharks that you can find or see in Myrtle Beach.
Common Sharks Found At Myrtle Beach
As we have mentioned, there are around 9 different species of sharks that can be found at Myrtle Beach. Some of these species may surprise you, as they are quite large species of sharks.
In fact, some of these sharks are some of the biggest species of sharks you can find in the world.
The following are the most common species of sharks that you may come across at Myrtle Beach.
If you are likely to see any shark at Myrtle Beach, it is very likely to be the Blacktip Shark. These sharks are often seen looking for food on Myrtle Beach.
This food is fish, not humans. Yet, these sharks can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh roughly 154 pounds.
Generally, the Spinner Shark will weigh up to 200 pounds and reach 10 feet in length.
This species of Tiger Shark is very easy to identify, due to the striking tiger-like stripes that are found on their mouth and flanks.
These sharks are thought to live around Myrtle Beach all year long, however, they are more common when the waters are warmer between March to November.
The Tiger Shark can reach 14 feet in length and roughly weigh around 1,400 pounds.
Sand Tiger Shark
These sharks can look quite terrifying, but it is known that these sharks pose no threat to humans, as they are extremely docile creatures.
Often called the Ragged Tooth Shark, this species will grow up to 11 feet and weigh around 640 pounds.
The Bull Shark is known to have high levels of testosterone, so they can be quite aggressive. These sharks can easily swim and live in freshwater and saltwater, so they could swim into rivers or lakes near Myrtle Beach.
Generally, these sharks will grow to around 11 feet and weigh up to 750 pounds.
The Sandbar Shark is a close relative of the Bull Shark. It can grow to around 8.2 feet long and weigh around 264 pounds.
Great White Shark
There is no denying that Great White Sharks are one of the most feared shark species in the world. Which is due to the Jaws film by Steven Spielberg. Yet it was a Bull Shark that was the inspiration for the story.
During March, the majority of Great White Sharks will leave the Myrtle Beach area, as the waters are becoming too warm for them.
However, they will come back as the water cools down during the winter months of November and December. Typically, these sharks can grow to around 20 feet and can weigh around 5,000 pounds.
Making them one of the largest species of sharks in the world.
There are 4 different types of Hammerhead Shark, this is home to South Carolina. These will include the Great Hammerhead, Bonnethead, Carolina and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks.
The Great Hammerhead Shark is the largest variety out of all the Hammerhead Sharks growing around 14 feet and weighing in around 1,280 pounds.
it is common to see Lemon Sharks living together in groups. They will usually grow up to 12 feet and weigh over 551 pounds.
Can You Safely Swim In Myrtle Beach?
Generally, it is quite safe to go swimming in Myrtle Beach. Unless you see signs that tell you to be cautious or prevent you from going out too far.
It is known that there are sharks in the waters just off the beach, but the chances of you getting bitten or attacked by a shark are very slim.
Further on in this article, we have given you some safety tips that you may want to read if you do want to go swimming or complete any water activities at Myrtle Beach.
When Will You Find A Great White Shark At Myrtle Beach?
We know that Great White Sharks are commonly seen at Myrtle Beach, but they aren’t around all year. It depends on the time of year when you may find a Great White near South Carolina.
Typically, you will find Great White Sharks in Myrtle Beach between October to May, each year.
However, the peak time to see them is between December to March, when the waters are between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These are the ideal water temperatures for these sharks.
In March 2021, Ocearch managed to tag a new Great White Shark at Myrtle Beach. They named him Beacon. The last time Ocearch managed to tag a Great White was in May 2019, and the shark was named Gurney.
By tagging these creatures, it helps us to see when the sharks are coming back and are around the area. It also gives us a better understanding of where to find the Great White Sharks and what they get up to.
Finding A Bull Shark At Myrtle Beach
We are aware that there are Bull Sharks at Myrtle Beach, and they aren’t the most friendly of sharks. Between July and August, these sharks are at their peak, when it comes to how many are around.
However, you can still witness a Bull Shark around South Carolina between March to October.
Bull Sharks are very adaptive creatures, as they do well in both freshwater and saltwater. These sharks will thrive in estuaries and rivers, but can also be seen in the sea.
This is because there are plenty of food sources for them to choose from.
Safety Tips To Consider To Reduce The Risks Of A Shark Attack
The risks that are associated with shark attacks near Myrtle Beach are quite rare. However, there are things to do if you are going swimming near Myrtle Beach to keep these risks as low as possible.
We have put together a few safety tips that you should consider when entering the water at Myrtle Beach.
Don’t go swimming at dusk or dawn, otherwise the sharks may mistake you for prey. As a lot of sharks prefer to hunt at night.
Try to avoid people fishing, while you are swimming.
Thus, it is preferable to avoid the Myrtle Beach Springmaid Pier. This is because the pier is a common place for fishermen to fish from.
The bait from the fishermen will attract the sharks, and you may get mistaken for bait or food by the sharks.
You should never go swimming immediately after or during a storm. This is due to the baitfish becoming stirred up.
Then if you start swimming among this fish, then the sharks will once again mistake you for food and there is a chance you could be attacked or bitten.
Stay away from deep areas or steep drop-offs in areas between sandbars. This is because these areas are the perfect place for any shark to hunt for their food and prey.
It is best to swim in a group or with other swimmers. This is due to the fact that sharks are known to be more likely to attack a swimmer that is alone, than with someone who is surrounded by other bodies and people.
If you see someone that is shouting to get out of the water and making a shark fin sign, then you should get out of the water ASAP.
Avoid surfing or boogie boarding near the near, as this is a common place for sharks to visit because of all the fishermen. Also, you run the risk of getting caught on the pier posts.
There are signs when you shouldn’t go into the water, when these signs are showing then you must follow them.
Avoid wearing any shiny jewelry while in the water. Sharks have been known to mistake jewelry that is shiny for the scales of a fish.
It is important that when you go swimming in the waters of Myrtle Beach, that the water is the shark’s home.
Therefore, you need to be aware of the dangers that are associated with this, and the dangers that the tides can have.
Shark attacks are quite rare, but more beach users are known to die from drowning due to a rip current than being attacked by a shark.
If you do happen to get caught in a rip current, which will be pulling you to the sea. You should also swim across the current, don’t try to swim against the current.
Thus, you should try to swim parallel to the beach, and then in just a short distance you should be able to swim out and away from the current.
By swimming against the current, all you will do is tire yourself out, and then this is when the risks of drowning are increased.
Are The Sharks Dangerous?
Overall, the species of sharks that are found at Myrtle Beach aren’t that dangerous, as long as you follow the safety tips, provided above.
However, there is no denying that three of the most common sharks found at Myrtle Beach are some of the most dangerous species of sharks as well.
These are the Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks and the Great White Sharks.
However, as long as you follow the tips and keep your distance, you shouldn’t need to fear getting bitten or attacked by a shark.
Generally, sharks don’t want to be near humans, they are just doing what is natural to them and hunting for food, which is normally fish.
Shark Attacks On Myrtle Beach
In the last 100 years, there have been only 50 shark attacks on Myrtle Beach, and the last fatal attack was in 1852. As a result, there are 15 million visitors to this beach every year.
That means the odds of you being bitten by a shark at this beach is around 1 in 4,000,000. Thus, you are actually a lot more likely to be struck by lightning than getting attacked by a shark.
However, it is still important to stay safe and do your best to reduce the chances of an attack happening. The sea is generally a dangerous place, so you need to be confident that you can look after yourself while out there.
Can You Shark Dive On Myrtle Beach?
Myrtle Beach is one of the best places to choose from, to go scuba diving. To see Tiger Sharks, you should go diving in the St Cathan wreck.
The Hebe wreck and the Raritan wreck. Although, if you want to go scuba diving to see Bull Sharks, then you will have more luck to see these by spear fishing on the South Carolina coast.
Diving by not be your thing, but you can go swimming with these sharks at the Ripley Aquarium, found on Myrtle Beach. Here you can go swimming with Nurse Sharks, Sandbar Sharks and Tiger Sharks.
The experience will take you 30 minutes to complete, but you are required to be an experienced and certified diver before taking part.
Where In Myrtle Beach Can You Spot Sharks
Generally, the best place to see any shark at Myrtle Beach is at the Springmaid Pier. It is really easy to find sharks by being above the water, then if you were trying to spot them just by looking from the beach.
Another easy way to just see some sharks is at the Ripley Aquarium, where you can also go diving with these sharks, if you are certified and an experienced diver.
There are a lot of places where you can see these sharks in Myrtle Beach, as they are found all over the Long Bay. This is the bay where Myrtle Beach sits in at the center.
You can find different species of sharks in different places and depths in the bay.
Below we have put together where you will commonly find species of shark in Myrtle Beach.
Bull Sharks – This species of shark is seen in various places around Myrtle Beach. This includes estuaries and rivers. While also they are found feeding between sandbars, in the surf.
They also like seabeds that then drop into much deeper water.
Blacktips and Sandbar Sharks – Both of these species enjoy quite shallow bodies of water when it comes to hunting for food.
This can be in the surf or between sandbars. Just like the Bull Sharks, these species can be found in seabeds which drop off into very deep water.
Spinner Shark – With the Spinner Shark that are commonly found in the surf. Here you will see them feeding on sardines, menhaden and herrings.
Sand Tiger Shark – These sharks prefer to stay away from the shores and like naturally very deep water. Thus, you can see this species by diving onto the wrecks of Myrtle Beach.
Tiger Sharks – It is known that Tiger Sharks will feed on pretty much anything. They quite like to feed on turtles like the Loggerhead Turtle, which are seen just off Myrtle Beach.
Hence, Tiger Sharks will swim in these areas or on the coasts, in the deepest waters in search for turtles.
Great White Shark – When it comes to the Great White Shark, they prefer the deepest waters. Hence, they are usually found a mile out of Myrtle Beach, where the water is at its deepest.
Thus, you shouldn’t fear being attacked by a Great White Shark, as they only like deep waters, but there have been stories of these sharks coming into shallow waters.
However, this is a rare occurrence. If you go scuba diving during the winter months, then there is a chance you may come across a Great White Shark, however the chances are very slim.
We have discovered that there are 9 very common types of sharks that can be found around Myrtle Beach. Generally, these sharks are very gentle creatures that don’t pose that much threat to humans.
However, it is almost best to keep your distance from any sharks, as they could easily mistake you for their prey.
Some of the sharks we have mentioned are dangerous to humans, but the chances of a human being attacked or bitten by these sharks at Myrtle Beach are very rare.
It is important to read our safety tips and take the most care when swimming or diving in the Myrtle Beach area.
We hope you have found this article interesting, and have a better understanding of the types of sharks you could face when going to Myrtle Beach.