Family spots shark feeding frenzy off Myrtle Beach

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A woman from Richmond, Va., was able to capture video of about five sharks in a feeding frenzy off Myrtle Beach.

“I saw my husband kind of pointing down at the beach to me and then he made a shark fin with his hands over his head,” said Tara Savedge. Her husband quickly told their children to get out of the water and Savedge had the fast reflexes to hit record on her phone.

Savedge said they saw the sharks just before 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the beach near 53rd Ave. North. At first, they saw four and then a fifth one became visible a short distance way. The fifth shark can be seen near the edge of the video.

“We saw a whole bunch of fish jump and then the fins showed up right afterward,” she said. “We just couldn’t believe there were so many of them.”

The lifeguards told everyone to get out of the water for about an hour after the sightings, Savedge said. One of the lifeguards later told her they where probably spinner sharks.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Garrett Archibeque said. He was skimboarding with his cousin, Jackson, when the sharks suddenly appeared. “It was a heck of a feeding frenzy for the sharks.”

“I saw a few fish start jumping,” he said. “By that time, my uncle and brother thought they spotted a shark, so we started looking out for that. And next thing you know, my aunt is taking a video of 5 sharks jumping out of the water.”

Savedge was the one who first spotted the sharks near his son and nephew.

“So we go over there and sure enough we see a fin,” he remembered. “So I tell my wife. She starts taking a video and in a matter of seconds, that’s the image everybody is seeing right now. Apparently, she’s the only one that got the split-second photo of the sharks coming up.”

We showed the video to Stacia White, an animal curator and shark expert at Ripley’s Aquarium.

“What you’re seeing in the video is basically what we call a bait school or a giant school of fish,” she said. “Mullet, bluefish, things like that.”

White says that sharks are drawn to these large groups of fish.

“Anytime that they can find a large school of fish, it actually gives them a better opportunity to get a meal,” White said. “They’re going to have better odds at getting a few fish out of that school.”

She recommends that swimmers stay away from schools of fish, which appear as a “dark cloud in the ocean.”

“But also, you want to avoid swimming at dusk or dawn. That’s when sharks are very active,” White said.

Lt. Jonathan Evans of Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue says that sightings like this one are rare, but Ocean Rescue is constantly monitoring for sharks.

“We always will keep an eye out,” he said. “And if someone sees one, let somebody know who is authority out here and we’ll get the waters cleared.”

He adds that swimmers need to stay away from piers, which can be a hot spot for sharks.

The sharks didn’t seem to phase this family, though.

“I wasn’t really scared,” Garrett Archibeque said. “It’s the sharks’ habitat. You’re with them either way. It’s pretty cool to see them actually in action.”

His brother, Grayson, agreed.

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