NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- April Plemmons and her family were enjoying a day at the beach last weekend when lifeguards abruptly, but calmly, told the swimmers to get out of the ocean.
Plemmons was taking family photos when a 4-foot shark roamed near shore, just feet from the Kannapolis family.
“The lifeguards saw it first because they calmly directed everyone to get out of the water by blowing their whistle,” Plemmons said.
Plemmons was vacationing with her family near 15th Avenue in North Myrtle Beach when a shark found its way into the backdrop of one of her photos on Saturday just before 1 p.m.
Plemmons and her family – her husband Cody, three children (ages 5, 4 and 20 months) and her parents Mike and Susan Bare – immediately got out of the water.
It was then when Plemmons took a video of the shark.
“I was just surprised to actually see one in person that close,” Plemmons said. “I know there have been a lot of sightings lately, but I was still surprised to see one so close to shore.”
Susan Bare told the Myrtle Beach Sun News that the beach was lined with on-lookers attempting to get a glimpse of the shark.
“You could go down the beach as far as you could see and see everyone lined up looking,” she said. “It was right there in front of us. I was like ‘Video it, video it, April. Video it.’”
Plemmons told the Independent Tribune that she never saw the shark until after she got out of the ocean. All she heard and saw was people running out of the water.
“Of course, I figured this could happen with swimming in the ocean, and that’s honestly why I never get in too far anyways,” Plemmons said.
The family braved the waters and got back into the ocean about 30 minutes after the shark sighting, and then again the next day.
Plemmons said the family was excited to see a shark, while being thankful there weren’t any injuries.
“I was honestly excited to see one and so were my boys,” Plemmons said. “They are four and five and have watched our video on repeat.”
According to the Wildlife Museum, the odds of getting attacked and killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,067, and there are 70 to 100 shark attacks worldwide each year.
Plemmons said she understands the risks when she gets into the ocean, but sharks won’t prevent her from swimming.
“If anything, this shouldn’t stop people from getting into the ocean, but just be mindful that we are swimming in their home,” she said.