The Most Aggressive Sharks in the World Hunt in Washington and Oregon Waters
Did you know there are over 30 shark species swimming in the shallow waters along the Pacific Northwest coastline? And, with the warmer temperatures just around the corner, thousands of inland residents will be flocking to the beautiful coastal beaches of Washington and Oregon. Although many will argue which coastline is more beautiful, no one can dispute they each share two of the most aggressive shark species in the world.
Tiger Sharks make their way north to the Pacific Northwest
The world’s second most aggressive shark, the Tiger Shark, does indeed call the coastal waters of Washington and Oregon home – at least during certain times of the year. However, no need to fear, looking back at all recorded shark attacks in the Pacific Northwest, there have been no recorded attacks by Tiger Sharks. This might be because Tiger Sharks hunt prey at night and surfers and swimmers are active during the day. Tigers like to patrol shallow waters and worldwide have been responsible for nearly 140 attacks and 40 deaths.
Great White Sharks are in the cold dark waters of Washington and Oregon regularly
It’s not surprising, the world’s most aggressive shark is the Great White Shark. The Great White’s reputation was forever changed in 1975 after Steven Spielberg’s movie production of ‘JAWS’. In fact, before its release, most people didn’t think much about what lurked below them while swimming. Thank you, Mr. Spielberg!
The Great White is responsible for the majority of the recorded shark attacks in Washington and Oregon. You’ll be happy to hear there have only been two recorded attacks in Washington waters – neither of them fatal. The first one occurred off Pacific Beach near Aberdeen, Washington in 1989. The other attack in Washington was just six years ago when a Great White took a bite of a surfer’s board.
Maybe it’s because Oregon waters are slightly warmer and further south, but Oregon has had 31 reported shark attacks, 21 of those confirmed to be Great Whites ranging from 10 to 20 feet in length. The other 10 attacks are logged as ‘unknown’ species. Seaside and Winchester Bay have had the most reported attacks followed by Cape Kiwanda and Indian Beach. There has been only 1 death as a result of a shark attack in Oregon and that happened in July of 1975, 62-year-old Grace Conger was killed by an unknown shark species after receiving severe injuries to her arms and legs. Worldwide there have been 333 Great White attacks with 52 of those fatal.
The majority of attacks in Washington and Oregon have been on surfers, likely because they wear a black wetsuit and sharks mistake them for a seal (one of their favorite meals). The likelihood of being attacked by a shark in Pacific Northwest waters is around 1 in 11.5 million. So, the odds are in your favor but thanks to articles like this one and Hollywood, it’s become something we all think about when swimming anywhere – especially when a piece of seaweed or other slimy thing happens to brush our toes.
LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history
LOOK: The states with the most UFO sightings