Outer Banks on high alert after shark attacks - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Outer Banks on high alert after shark attacks

Outer Banks on high alert  after shark attacks (Source: NBC12) Outer Banks on high alert after shark attacks (Source: NBC12)
Source: Twitter - Mike Will Source: Twitter - Mike Will

On Thursday, authorities released the 911 call of the latest shark attack along the North Carolina coast. With thousands of people headed to the oceanfront, it's the call no one wants to hear. North Carolina's governor says experts are still trying to find patterns in the series of attacks -- seven in the last three weeks -- but doubts there's one single safety response to protect visitors.

We are now entering what's perhaps the busiest holiday travel season of the summer and many folks made plans to come to the Outer Banks. But all of the recent headlines are leaving quite a few vacationers scratching their heads.

The serene sound of the waves in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and the natural charm of the ocean are enough to excite 14-year-old Jordan Jackson.

"I love going diving for seashells,” he said.

That’s why he couldn't keep calm when his parents told him they were taking a trip to the Outer Banks from their home in Pittsburgh. But mom is concerned about the seven shark attacks within just the past three weeks. They happened hours away from Kitty Hawk, but are having a chilling effect all along the coast.

"It definitely crossed my mind. I'm nervous. My oldest one likes to go out a little bit further. We're just very cautious now,” said Jamie Jackson.

They're not the only ones.

"They're supposed to be in warmer waters and this water is very cold, so hopefully they're not going to be up here,” said Ann Marie Hurdle from Rocky Mount.

All of the fears are even impacting business along the beach, with some beachgoers adamant about not taking any chances. 

"Everyone's kind of getting nervous to get into the ocean,” said Jared Jennings.

That’s a negative consequence for Jennings, who runs Smile's Surf Company - even though his shop is some 80 miles from the most recent shark attack.

"Sales are definitely down. Every person that comes up to the beach asks me the same question: ‘What about the sharks?’" Jennings said.

Vacationers still seem to be flocking to the Outer Banks, as ocean rescue crews make their presence known. That’s offering peace of mind for beach lovers like 14-year-old Jordan, who just wants to explore without limitations.

"It's our favorite vacation spot, so no shark is going to keep us away,” his mother said.

Researchers say there are anywhere from 70 to 100 shark attacks a year, worldwide. As of now, there are no plans to close any of the beaches on the Outer Banks.

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