A-z - Animals

5 South Carolina shark attacks in 2022: Where and when

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Every year, several shark attacks occur around the world. Many bites are unprovoked, while some are provoked (occurs when people intentionally interact with or harass sharks). Very few shark attacks are fatal. In 2022, there will be an estimated 91 attacks, 16 of which were provoked and 9 of which were fatal. Here we look at the number of shark attacks in South Carolina in 2022. Along the way, we'll learn more about sharks and how to reduce your risk of being bitten.

Why do shark attacks happen?

Generally speaking, most shark attacks can be attributed to the wrong person. Humans are not ideal food for sharks, especially if they are less than 10 feet long. Many attacks occur in murky water, or when humans swim in areas with lots of fish or people fishing. Attacks have also occurred on shallow offshore sandbars, where larger sharks hunt prey such as bony fish and seals. In most cases, the bite is quick and the shark swims away quickly once it realizes what it has bitten.

sandbar shark
Most shark attacks can be attributed to the wrong person.

©Vladimir Wrangel/Shutterstock.com

1. Kiawah Island

South Carolina's first shark attack of 2022 occurred in the early afternoon of May 24. The victim, a 30-year-old woman from New Jersey, was wading in waist-deep muddy water about 40 feet from shore. The shark (species unknown) bit the woman's calf, leaving several lacerations, and swam away. The woman waded to shore, where she was treated and taken to a local hospital.

A bonnethead shark swims in the ocean.
Cloudy or cloudy water increases your chances of an accidental shark bite.


2. Myrtle Beach

The second reported shark attack in South Carolina in 2022 occurred on June 21 at the Pirates Family Campground in Myrtle Beach. The victim was a teenage boy. Although no details of the attack were reported, the wounds did not appear to be life-threatening. The teenager was treated at a local hospital.

3. Hilton Head

South Carolina's third shark attack of 2022 occurred on July 12 in the Palmetto Dunes area of Hilton Head Island. The victim was a 67-year-old woman. The woman was reportedly wading into thigh-deep water at 3.30pm when a shark (species unknown) bit her hand. The woman was treated at a nearby emergency room and required 24 stitches. The next day, she returned to the water without fear, taking care to keep her hands dry.

bull shark
Avoid swimming where there are many fish or people fishing, as this may attract sharks.

© Martin Prochazkacz/Shutterstock.com

4. Myrtle Beach

South Carolina's last two shark attacks of 2022 occurred in Myrtle Beach on Aug. 15. The first victim was wading in waist-deep water near North 75th Avenue when a shark (species unknown) caught on her lower arm. After some effort from the woman, the shark let go of it. The Pennsylvania tourist reportedly required revision surgery and hundreds of stitches to treat the wound.

5. Myrtle Beach

The last shark attack in South Carolina in 2022 occurred later that same day, August 15. The victim was reportedly bitten on the leg, but there is no further information about the attack or injuries. The attack happened just ten blocks from the first attack, near 82nd Avenue.

Why Sharks Matter

Sharks are both top predators and keystone species. This means their presence is absolutely critical to the health of marine ecosystems. Without sharks, the entire food web (and food chain) would be thrown out of balance. So, as scary as sharks may look, they are actually very beneficial to our oceans. In fact, humans kill millions of sharks every year. In stark contrast, your chances of being attacked by a shark are less than one in four million.

tiger shark
Sharks are vital to the health of marine ecosystems.


How to Reduce Your Risk of Being Attacked by a Shark

In 2022, South Carolina has confirmed five shark attacks. With this in mind, you might be wondering what you can do to lower your chances of having an unpleasant, potentially life-changing experience with a shark. While there's no guarantee you won't get bitten, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of being bitten.

First, don't swim at dawn or dusk, as this is the shark's main feeding time. Avoid swimming where there are many fish or people fishing. Also, don't swim near offshore sandbars or kelp forests, as larger sharks come inland to hunt. And, be careful if the water is cloudy or murky, as cloudy water increases your chances of getting accidentally bitten. Be sure to remove any jewelry or accessories when entering the water. Jewelry may reflect sunlight, and sharks may mistake it for fish glitter.


  • 8 Sharks in South Carolina Waters
  • Watch a shark bite an alligator in South Carolina
  • Where are the most shark attacks in the world?

More from AZ Animals

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Sharks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Sharks in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

© Two Edged Studios LLC/Shutterstock.com

about the author

Brandi Allred

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She has degrees in English and Anthropology and writes horror, science fiction and fantasy stories in her spare time.

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