America's Most Shark-Infested Beaches
By the time a lifeguard got to him, it was too late. Stephen Schafer was kitesurfing 500 yards off an unguarded part of Stuart Beach, in Martin County, Fla., last February when he was attacked by a swarm of sharks. “He got bit after he presumably wiped out, a very serious bite,” says George Burgess, director of theInternational Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Schafer was rushed to a local hospital, where he died of his wounds.
While shark attacks are rare, they’ve been on the rise, with 79 attacks in 2010—the most dangerous year for shark attacks in a decade. Here is our list of some notable locations for shark attacks in 2010 and 2011. Although no one beach is more likely to be prone to shark attacks than another, these are mostly part of larger areas known to be where sharks and humans come into contact with each other.
Shark attacks are relatively common in the waters off northern California, but one attack in central California in 2010 drew a lot of attention. Nineteen-year-old surfer Luke Ransom was catching large waves in the waters off Vandenberg Air Force base near Santa Barbara, when he was attacked by an 18-foot great white. The surfer did not get back to shore in time and bled to death.
There were 13 unprovoked shark attacks – one fatal – in Florida in 2010, statistically the most likely place in the world to get bitten by a shark. That likelihood shows no sign of abating this year. In addition to an attack on dive instructor Daniel Webb on June 12, the most recent attack was on a 19-year-old swimmer in New Smyrna Beach on June 6, the third person this year to get bitten by a shark in part of the so-called “red triangle.”