Shark sightings common along Myrtle Beach, Garden City beaches this summer
Terry Egan, his wife and daughters were spending a nice day on the beach Sunday.
Little did they know, they’d soon be in for an eerie sight.
A while after getting in the ocean to cool off, Egan said his wife Jennifer felt something bump against her leg. Soon after, Egan felt two points on his forearm and experienced a sensation as if fish were nipping at him.
It wasn’t long before his daughters Shannon Hallstein and Taylor Egan had spotted the likely culprit.
“I wasn’t looking, but by the time I turned whatever it was was gone,” said Egan, who lives in Myrtle Beach with his wife and has three daughters in college. “It was just moments after that that Shannon … and my daughter Taylor were both right there with us when they looked and saw a shark. They said it was definitely less than 10 feet away.”
Then they went into a bit of a panic, aiming to get out of the water as quick as they could. Shannon was trying to alert others in the ocean - just north of Myrtle Beach State Park - that it wasn’t safe in the water.
“She started yelling ‘Shark, shark, come on, guys, shark, get out.’ So we all started hustling and by that time there was some other people that saw it too and they started hustling,” Terry Egan said. “Really that whole beach area started to empty out.”
Once they got safely to the beach where Egan’s other daughter, Sara Hallstein, was watching their stuff, Terry grabbed his camera and started snapping photos.
“We were out there a ways. It took a little bit of time to get in on to the beach, but there were still a lot of people who had not left the water,” he said. “There were a lot of kids out in the water yet. There wasn’t a system for spreading the news up and down the beach.”
Terry said the beach was packed and the incident occurred between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Soon, word started spreading up and down the beach and most everyone had gotten out of the water.
Upon researching what they’d seen, Egan and Co. believe it was a blacktip shark that was 5 to 6 feet long.
“We’d never seen anything up this close and swimming among the people,” he said.
Thinking back, Egan believes there were signs that the environment was just right for such an occurrence.
“We had noticed that when we were out there swimming that all of a sudden all of the sea gulls moved in and were feeding in our area and they were pulling small fish out,” he said. “So I think there was probably a school of feeder fish that were in the area, so it made sense that this guy was probably coming in and feeding on those fish.”
Luckily, there were no reports of anyone injured. And now the family has an exciting story to tell.