American Oceans

10 Most Dangerous Beaches in the World

a rendering of people at a beach in the water with a shark approaching them

The world is home to some of the most beautiful and picturesque beaches, but not all of them are safe to visit. Some beaches across the globe are known for their treacherous waters, dangerous wildlife, and high crime rates, making them the most dangerous beaches in the world.

When it comes to beaches, there is often more danger than meets the eye. While many people associate beaches with relaxation and fun in the sun, it is important to understand the potential dangers that can lurk beneath the surface.

10. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

sharks swimming at the surface of the water

Beachgoers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, may want to exercise caution when visiting, as the beach ranks 10th on the list of deadliest beaches with a danger score of 5.37 out of 10. Notable hazards in the area include three recorded surf zone fatalities and two shark attacks.

Additionally, hurricanes have greatly impacted the region, with Fort Lauderdale experiencing 120 hurricanes between 1851 and 2020. Visitors should always remain vigilant and keep an eye on the weather conditions when planning their beach outings.

9. Gulf Shores, Alabama

a great white shark swimming in the water

Gulf Shores, Alabama, offers beautiful white sand beaches and is a popular destination for tourists. However, it’s essential to be cautious, as the area has experienced hazards, including five surf zone fatalities and three shark attacks. This coastal region is also no stranger to extreme weather, as it has been affected by 23 hurricanes in the past. Consequently, Gulf Shores holds a danger score of 5.38 out of 10, emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant while enjoying the area’s picturesque surroundings.

8. Oak Island, North Carolina

a shark breaching the water in north carolina

Oak Island, situated in North Carolina on the East Coast, has experienced eight surf zone fatalities and two shark attacks. Although its risk profile is not as elevated as some other beaches along the Eastern Seaboard, Oak Island has faced its share of hurricane activity. Between the years 1851 and 2020, there have been 58 storms affecting the area. Considering these factors, Oak Island holds a danger score of 5.54 out of 10.

7. Jacksonville Beach, Florida)

a shark swimming along the bottom of the ocean

In Jacksonville Beach, Florida, beachgoers have faced various hazards since 2010, including three fatal incidents in surf zones and three shark attacks. With a high count of 120 hurricane hits, these factors contribute to a danger score of 6.02 out of 10. Visitors should exercise caution while enjoying this popular destination, and be aware of potential risks in the water.

6. Melbourne Beach, Florida

a shoal of sharks in the ocean

Located on the east coast of Florida, Melbourne Beach has a danger score of 6.35 out of 10. The beach has witnessed three surf zone fatalities since 2010, along with six shark attacks. Additionally, the area has experienced 120 hurricanes between 1851 and 2020. As a result, scientists encourage beachgoers to assist in monitoring local shark populations to improve safety and awareness.

5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

a great white shark breaching the water

Visitors to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina should be aware of its danger score of 6.61 out of 10. Contributing factors to this risk level are the 15 surf zone fatalities and nine shark attacks that have occurred in this popular destination. Additionally, the coastline has experienced 31 hurricane strikes between 1851 and 2020, making weather conditions a significant area of concern for beachgoers. Despite these potential hazards, many people still enjoy the beautiful sands and waters of Myrtle Beach each year.

4. Panama City Beach, Florida

lemon sharks find and hunt prey to eat

Panama City Beach in Florida has experienced a significant increase in surf zone fatalities, totaling 24 since 2010. Despite this, the area has only witnessed two shark attacks over time. This combination of risks leads to Panama City Beach receiving a danger score of 7.16 out of 10. As a result, visitors should exercise caution and be aware of potential hazards when enjoying the beach.

3. Ormond Beach, Florida

blacktip sharks with dark gray dorsal color

At Ormond Beach in Florida, surf zone fatalities are more common than shark attacks, contributing to a danger score of 7.48 out of 10. Encountering a total of eight surf zone fatalities and only four recorded shark attacks, the beach’s primary hazard lies within the powerful waves. In a bid to ensure beachgoers’ safety, NOAA has developed a new life-saving rip current forecast model to help prevent such incidents.

2. Cocoa Beach, Florida

a tiger shark swimming in shallow water

Cocoa Beach in Florida holds a danger score of 7.57 out of 10, primarily due to multiple surf zone fatalities and shark attacks reported in the past. Similar to New Smyrna Beach and other hazardous beaches, the area has experienced the effects of 120 hurricanes. It’s essential for beach-goers to remain vigilant and mindful of potential dangers, such as rip currents, while enjoying their time at Cocoa Beach.

1. New Smyrna Beach, Florida

a massive bull shark swimming along the seafloor

A family day at the beach can turn risky at New Smyrna Beach in Florida, which holds the title as the most perilous beach in the United States, as per Travel Lens. The alarming score of 8.14 out of 10 is attributed to the beach’s record of 10 surf zone fatalities and 32 shark attacks since 2010. Additionally, from 1851 to 2020, the region experienced the impact of 120 hurricanes. Visitors are encouraged to stay vigilant and be aware of potential dangers when entering the water.

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