New Smyrna Beach: A Paradise with a Bite

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  • Post last modified:February 24, 2024
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New Smyrna Beach is a popular destination for surfers and visitors searching for a relaxed atmosphere with hidden experiences. The region is full of fascinating history, creative talent, one-of-a-kind stores, local cafes, and plenty of outdoor activities. But there is also a darker side to this sunny paradise: it is known as the shark attack capital of the world.

According to the International Shark Attack File, New Smyrna Beach has recorded more than 300 shark attacks since 1882, making it the most shark-infested beach in the world. Most of the attacks occur in the shallow waters near the Ponce de Leon Inlet, where surfers and swimmers share the water with a large population of bull sharks, blacktip sharks, spinner sharks, and other species. The sharks are attracted by the abundance of fish in the inlet, and sometimes mistake human limbs for prey.

Fortunately, most of the shark attacks in New Smyrna Beach are minor, resulting in small cuts and bites that require stitches. There have been no fatal shark attacks in the area since 2008, when a kite surfer died after being bitten by a bull shark. However, the risk of shark attack is still high, and visitors should exercise caution when entering the water.


Some of the safety tips to avoid shark attacks include:

  • Avoid swimming or surfing at dawn or dusk, when sharks are most active and visibility is low.
  • Stay in groups and avoid swimming alone or far from shore.
  • Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding, as sharks can smell blood from miles away.
  • Avoid wearing shiny jewelry or bright colors, as sharks may mistake them for fish scales or lures.
  • Do not splash or thrash in the water, as sharks may interpret this as signs of distress or prey.
  • If you see a shark, remain calm and slowly move away from it. Do not panic or swim fast, as this may provoke the shark to chase you.
  • If you are attacked by a shark, fight back by hitting it in the eyes, nose, or gills, which are its most sensitive areas.

New Smyrna Beach is a beautiful and diverse place to visit, with many attractions and activities to enjoy. But it is also a place where nature can be unpredictable and dangerous. By being aware of the potential hazards and following the safety guidelines, visitors can have a fun and memorable experience in New Smyrna Beach, without becoming a shark’s snack.

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