Great White sharks have recently been swimming along several areas of the Carolina coast, according to OCEARCH, the data tracker application that records the travel of ocean life.
One of them is named Luna, a 15-foot White shark that weighs 2,137 lbs. She's the largest shark OCEARCH is tracking. The latest ping of OCEARCH's live shark tracker on May 9th showed she's been hanging out off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Before that, it had been more than a month of silence from Luna, according to OCEARCH.
Also on May 9th, OCEARCH reported a ping off the South Carolina coast from Caroline, a 12-foot White shark. She was pinged off the coast near Beaufort.
That same day, OCEARCH reported a clustering of great white sharks reported off the Outer Banks. Some of them were 12 feet long, according to OCEARCH.
Then on May 11th, OCEARCH said a shark named Katharine pinged off the coast of Charleston, SC. This was a big deal because researchers thought her tracker battery had run out, according to OCEARCH's website.
The 2,300-pound white shark surfaced for the first time since February 25th, according to OCEARCH.
As we recently reported, Ocearch said it's common for great whites to swim by this time a year as they migrate. At the same time, shark attacks are pretty rare.
Over the years, many great white sharks have traveled along our coast. Some are even named for our beach communities because they visit so often. A great white shark named Hilton was named after Hilton Head, SC when it was tagged there in March 2017.
Even though shark attacks are rare, it's important to know how to avoid them while swimming.
The Florida Museum put together a list of rules when swimming in the ocean
1. Always swim in a group. Sharks most often attack lone individuals.
2. Don’t wander too far from shore. Doing so isolates you and places you away from assistance.
3. Avoid the water at night, dawn, or dusk. Many sharks are most active at these times and are better able to find you than you are to see them.
4. Don’t enter the water if bleeding. Sharks can smell and taste blood, and trace it back to its source.
5. Don’t wear shiny jewelry. The reflected light looks like shining fish scales.
6. Don’t go into waters containing sewage. Sewage attracts bait fishes, which in turn attract sharks.
7. Avoid waters being fished and those with lots of bait fishes. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such activities.
8. Don’t enter the water if sharks are present. Leave immediately if sharks are seen.
9. Avoid an uneven tan and brightly colored clothing. Sharks see contrast particularly well, so use extra caution when waters are cloudy.
10. Don’t splash a lot. Also, keep pets out of the water. Erratic movements can attract sharks.
11. Use care near sandbars or steep drop-offs. These are favorite hangouts for sharks.
12. Don’t relax just because porpoises are nearby. Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks. Both often eat the same foods.
13. Don’t try to touch a shark if you see one!
14. If attacked by a shark, the general rule is “Do whatever it takes to get away!” Some people have successfully chosen to be aggressive, others passive. Some yelled underwater, others blew bubbles.