Since 1837, 102 shark attacks have occurred in South Carolina [source: ISAF]. Though they occur all along the state's coastline, the majority have occurred in Horry County, home to popular Myrtle Beach. As this list will reveal, more people in the water generally increases the chance of a shark attack.
Some 12 species of sharks have been detected in South Carolina's waters [source: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources]. The species are generally mild, including the sandbar and bonnethead sharks, but more aggressive species, including the tiger and the bull shark have been spotted. South Carolina's offshore estuaries provide good birthing and feeding grounds for these sharks.
Several factors keep South Carolina from being as dangerous a place as, say, Florida. At North Myrtle Beach, the continental shelf, where sharks find many fish to feast on, is located 50 miles (80.5 kilometers) out from the coastline. In Florida, that shelf can come within a mile of the shore [source: MyrtleBeach.com]. We'll have much more on Florida later, but as another comparison, the waves are generally milder at beaches such as Myrtle Beach, so fish aren't being thrown inshore with sharks in hot pursuit.