If you were swimming in shark-infested waters, would you want to know? Ginger Gilmer of Tennessee was standing on a 15th-floor balcony overlooking North Myrtle Beach in Cherry Grove, South Carolina, when she spotted a shark near a group of people wading in the water.
Gilmer could tell that the swimmers had no idea that they were so close to a shark. She was able to snap some photos of the amazing spectacle, which she posted to Facebook. They have since gone viral.
Check out her chilling Facebook post below:
She helpfully marked up the photos with the word “shark” and an arrow pointing at the predator in the frame. Her post has been shared more than 32,000 times.
“Why I go to the beach to get in the pool!” she wrote. “SHARKS!!!! Not one person had an idea of what was lurking around them. Can’t see the bottom, not swimming in it! #doodoodoodoo @North Myrtle Beach / Cherry Grove SC – Sedgefield North 304.”
Wow! Gilmer says the people on the beach were clearly not aware of their proximity to the shark and that she herself avoids swimming in the ocean for that exact reason.
However, while fear of sharks may keep her out of the water, Gilmer still likes to enjoy the sandy beach.
“(I have) mad respect for the sharks,” she told Myrtle Beach Online. “They are amazing predators and they are right where God intended them to be. I love the beach and will definitely go back.”
There have been three shark attacks in North Carolina this June, including one that resulted in a serious injury. On June 2, 17-year-old Paige Winter was swimming at Atlantic Beach in North Carolina when a shark attacked and bit her.
She was no more than waist-deep in the water when she felt a tug on her leg that turned out to be a shark. Luckily, her dad, Charlie, was able to save her, thanks in part to this training as a firefighter and paramedic.
She lost her left leg below the knee, as well as two of her fingers. The experience has urged her to learn more about sharks and help others be aware of the dangers they can pose.
In reality, your chances of being bitten by a shark are pretty low, considering how many people get into their habitats on a regular basis.
On average, six unprovoked shark-related human fatalities happen each year worldwide.
In the U.S. last year, according to the International Shark Attack Files from the Florida Museum of Natural History, Americans experienced 32 unprovoked shark attacks and one fatal incident.
Compare this with the fact that about 100 million sharks and rays are killed by humans annually and that most shark populations are in decline.
If you enjoy going in the ocean, you may want to be extra cautious! And if you see a shark, keep these tips in mind to make sure you get out of the encounter safely.