Be wary at the beach

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The “Jaws” theme song is infamous for creating cinematic suspense. The ominous two notes heard in the 1975 flick plays every time the shark targets its next victim. Unfortunately, shark attacks don’t just happen in thrillers, which is why beachgoers should be wary.

Sunday, a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy each lost an arm in separate shark attacks off the North Carolina coast. Fortunately, the teenagers survived the ordeal and are currently in stable condition, according to CNN.

The consecutive shark attacks definitely raise concern, especially at a time when many people across America are going to the beach to cool off.

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Since I’m originally from Florida, I was basically raised on a beach and spent many summers seaside with family and friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to have never experienced or witnessed a shark attack. Having said that, I’ve always been cautious in the water. I never strayed too far from shore and was always aware of my surroundings. When I thought I saw or felt something swimming nearby I would race back to shore as if Jaws was chasing after me. The ocean is a wild place and I’d rather be safe than sorry. However, sharks move fast, which often leaves little time for people to react.

So far this year, sharks have killed six people worldwide compared to an average of six people each year between 2005 and 2014, according to USA Today.

According to data compiled by the Global Shark Attack File, attacks along the Mississippi Gulf Coast were reported in 1879, 1909, 1960, 1963 and 1995.

Summer hasn’t officially arrived but there are already more fatalities this year than in the past. Even so, shark attacks are still not as common as other occurrences. Wild creatures including wasps, bees and snakes contribute to more deaths in the U.S. than sharks, USA Today reported.

While the recent shark attacks shouldn’t keep us from enjoying the beach, we should still be mindful of the potential danger.