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OK. I made the mistake of watching Shark Week. We are traveling to North Topsail in 2 weeks -- how much should we worry about sharks? We are staying at the North end of the island, on shore drive, near the New River Inlet & were hoping to do some surfing. I've done some reading and sense that this is a potentially dangerous beach to swim on. How far should we walk away from the inlet to decrease our chances of running into a shark? Should we keep our dog out of the water? Is there a particular tide that is more dangerous (high tide?)


North Carolina
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1. Re: Sharks?

"I've done some reading and sense that this is a potentially dangerous beach to swim on".

Not sure what you've been reading but I don't think you have anything to worry about. I've been going to the NC beaches for 60 years,including Topsail, and I've never even SEEN a shark.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Sharks?

You may want to worry about aligators though!

Topsail Island, NC
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3. Re: Sharks?

I would stay about 100 feet or so away from the inlet, not because of sharks but because of potential currents.

Don't freak out about sharks. My son surfs in that area almost every day of the year. I swim there often.

Of course there are sharks in the ocean but you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than you do of having an encounter with a shark.

My advice would be to not go swimming at dawn or dusk.

You'll be fine :)

Have fun!

Topsail Island
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4. Re: Sharks?

The last Shark bite We had here was in the area you are staying,Granted you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning but Sharks do hang out near Inlets waiting for bait to flow out with the tide and I do not reccomend it and I have been Surfing for 45 years and never surf in inlets . Some of the best surfing spots are by the old piers and not very crowded there are numerous sandbars up and down the beach just drive and walk over and check them out ,Thats what we do.

Low Tide is the most dangerous for Rip Currents so you should use some caution as the tide falls.

North Carolina USA
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5. Re: Sharks?

Here is a web site that shows since 1935 (74 years) there have been 8 shark attacks in Onslow county and only one fatality. The death occurred in 1935. In NC from 1990 to 2003 (ONLY 13 years) there have been 29 deaths by lightning strikes. In 2007 alone there were 2,546 deaths due to Other Unintentional Injuries. 1,787 deaths due to Motor Vehicle Injuries. 668 deaths due Homicide.

Today, populations of large sharks are only 50% of what they were in the 1970s because of over fishing. This includes species commonly found in NC waters - sandbar sharks, dusky sharks, tiger sharks and sandtiger sharks. Of these, only the Tiger Shark is aggressive. Most Sharks you see in the NC water are sandbar Sharks

You saw Jaws right?? Remember the scene where they are comparing scars? Well if you were attacked your would most likely just have a cool story to tell.

So really enjoy the water and do NOT worry about Sharks.


Western Ireland...
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6. Re: Sharks?

I wouldn't let my dog in the ocean to swim. Too much splashing around. Just returned from Ocean Isle Beach last week and I saw a shark swimming in knee deep water, so they are there. They really don't want to eat you, however a 13 year old girl was bitten last year at Topsail. She was ok though. Just keep an eye open and you will be fine.

In the Country, NY
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7. Re: Sharks?


I like your reply, probably the most interesting I've read in a while. Thanks

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8. Re: Sharks?

Do you know of any nice house to rent for Ohio family.

I am the best renter and need house for 10

rental agencies charge an arm/leg for tax and admn. fees

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9. Re: Sharks?

Don't have a nice cottage for 10 i can rent????????????

i am the best renter looking

10. Re: Sharks?

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