NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Sharks aren’t that uncommon off the Carolina coast, but great whites aren’t typical residents of our part of the Atlantic Ocean.
A 10-foot female great white shark washed ashore in North Myrtle Beach last Thursday, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says the occurrence was unusual.
“While it’s not uncommon for large coastal sharks, whales, dolphins and sea turtles to become stranded on the shore when ill/injured, a white shark stranding in South Carolina is unusual,” the department said. “This immature female was not a previously known (tagged) individual, and she presented no threat to beach-goers. White sharks are typically only winter visitors to South Carolina waters.”
The shark offered local biologists and visiting scientists alike an opportunity to collect data on one of the ocean’s largest predators. DNR was joined by representatives from the Georgia Aquarium and Ripley’s Aquariums.
“A necropsy revealed nodules on the shark’s spleen but no conclusive cause of illness,” DNR said. “Our biologists are sending off tissue samples for further analysis to hopefully learn more.”
The North Myrtle Beach Police and North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue were the first responders April 6 on the beach.