Topsail noted in Forbes' list of shark infested beaches - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Topsail noted in Forbes' list of shark infested beaches

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Topsail Beach (Source: John Guiffo, Forbes) Topsail Beach (Source: John Guiffo, Forbes)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Shark attacks aren't very common, but they have been on the rise.

According to Forbes, there were 79 shark attacks in 2010, the most dangerous year for the attacks in a decade.

While no beach is more likely to be prone to sharks than others, the blog pointed out some notable locations for shark attacks in 2010 and 2011, including Topsail Beach.

A young girl visiting from out of town was recently bitten by what was believed to be a shark at North Topsail Beach.  The town manager said she was standing in shallow water when she felt something nip at her ankle.  Medical personnel recovered a tooth out of the girl's ankle, lending to the belief it was a shark bite.

Another victim was Carley Schlentz, a 13-year-old girl from Greensboro, who was attacked near Topsail Island.  She was bitten twice before she made it out of the water and required 60 stitches.

With more people in the water, comes more splashing. Certain noises attract sharks, according to Paul Barrington at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Barrington says there are certain precautions you can take in order to prevent an attack from happening:

  • Do not swim during dusk or dawn
  • Swim with more than one person
  • Do not wear any jewelry or other shiny objects
  • Avoid murky water

According to the International Shark Attack File, New Hanover County has had a total of nine shark attacks since 1935.  The latest fatal shark attack in North Carolina happened in Dare County in 2001.

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