July 14, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC – By now, if you watch ABC, CBS, Fox news, YouTube, even the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News or local stations WMBF or WPDE you joined about two million other people to have read, seen or heard about the second fish Sarah Brame caught off the dock of their channel home in Cherry Grove.
She had just caught her very first fish – a red drum –when WHAM! - a 200 pound bull shark decided it was his and not hers. Screaming, Brame headed the other way and was willing to give it up, but finance William Moore would have none of that!
Yelling encouragement, Moore persuaded Brame to reel it in. Alas, it was not to be. The line broke and the score was bull shark one, the team of Brame and Moore zero. Not being the giving up type, Moore and a friend got in a boat and went after the shark. It wasn’t more than ten minutes that the bull shark accepted their dinner invitation. After feeding the bull shark another piece of fish, Moore and the bull shark fought for 45 minutes before the line broke again. Score bull shark two, Moore zero. And there it remains, with Moore demanding a rematch.
Moore and a friend caught the entire battle on video, posted it on YouTube and it went viral inviting coverage by national and local media, spurring even greater interest. The YouTube link to the posting is at the bottom of this article as well as WPDE’s coverage.
Another shark story! Should residents and visitors be worried? This year there have already been five shark bites recorded in Myrtle Beach. The first was on June 2nd near the 2nd Avenue pier and on June 14 when four people were bitten within minutes of each other from 72nd to 82nd Avenue North.
There is no doubt that sharks are in the local waters. In fact, for 47 years the record for the largest tiger shark ever caught by rod and reel was held by Walter Maxwell. The 1780 pound behemoth was caught off the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach.
So what does all that mean? Is it safe? Can we go in the water?
Shark bites are rare. Around thirty four shark attacks have occurred in the last 12 years in South Carolina – none fatal. And put those bites in context: during those twelve years an estimated 160 million people visited the area. You do the math.
Also remember, media reports tend to exaggerate minor incidences. For example, last year, headlines screamed that a shark had attacked a ten year old in Myrtle Beach. However, emergency workers described the boy as having a number of “small puncture wounds” to his calf and medical officials at the local hospital described the injury as a “small bite.”
So the advice is just be smart and follow this advice:
• Don’t pet tiger sharks – see “How likely are shark attacks in North Myrtle Beach”
• Don’t swim near fishing piers – fishing bait attracts sharks
• Avoid sandbars and drop-offs
• See a large school of bait fish at your feet – go work on your tan on the beach.
The raw footage from Brame/Moore can be found here: http://youtu.be/8ViN-qG6Q5M
Coverage by WPDE: http://youtu.be/5eMnDe7_5eo