9-foot great white shark appears off Myrtle Beach’s coast

“Amy” the 9-foot great white shark pinged twice off of Myrtle Beach’s coast this week.
“Amy” the 9-foot great white shark pinged twice off of Myrtle Beach’s coast this week. Photo courtesy Chip Michalove

A 9-foot long, female great white shark has been hanging out near Myrtle Beach’s coast this week.

Chip Michalove, charter captain of Hilton Head’s Outcast Sport Fishing, caught and tagged “Amy” off the coast of Hilton Head last year on December 1.

Michalove said Amy pinged twice this week — meaning her dorsal fin broke the surface of the water — around 40 miles offshore of Myrtle Beach. She pinged once on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

“It’s pretty cool to see that she is hanging out in the area still,” Michalove added. “A lot of times you will see these fish move up and down the coast a lot, but it’s kinda cool to know she hasn’t left our state.”

Michalove named the 9- to 11-year-old shark after his neighbor Amy Key Prater, of Hilton Head, who beat breast cancer, The Island Packet reported.

“Amy went through hell with a double mastectomy, radiation, chemo and multiple surgeries,” Michalove previously wrote in a Facebook post. “Congratulations on beating it! I know you help and inspire many that are going down that same road ... this one’s for you.”

Amy is just one of the “thousands” of great white sharks that visit South Carolina’s coast during the wintertime, Michalove explained.

“When I first started, I thought there was only a handful, but we’ve got thousands,” the veteran fisherman said. “After the last few years I’ve figured out that when you go out, like myself, and every trip out we get one — and it’s a different one — that tells me that we’ve got quite a few.”

When Michalove caught Amy in December, he said her great personality made it very easy for him and his crew to quickly tag her.

“She had the best personality of any shark we’ve ever tagged. She came in really easy, she never got aggressive,” he said. “I wish all sharks had her personality.”

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles