Tips to help you avoid sharks in ocean after first shark bite of season

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The first shark bite of the season has some beachgoers on alert.

There are some water safety tips that could help protect you from sharks in the ocean.

On Saturday, Folly Beach officials reported that a woman suffered minor injuries from a shark bite to her heel. She is expected to be okay.

When you're at the beach keep in mind you're visiting a shark's home.

Charleston resident Mike Tillman says he will be on alert.

"It's not going to stop me from getting into the water," Tillman said.

The chances of a shark biting you is extremely low, but it does happen.

Alex Nestertsov was visiting Folly Beach from Anderson, South Carolina.

"That's intense, I'd still have to swim, it makes you think about it," Nestertsov said.

Assistant Manager of the Folly Beach Pier, Charlie Vance, says sharks are not looking to get people.

"We are a little bit larger than what they intend to go for," Vance said.

He says there some things you can do to help avoid sharks like swimming in groups. Vance says sharks tend to be more drawn to things that are by themselves,

He also says avoid wearing flashy items like jewelry because to a shark it could look like fish scales. It could attract them to you.

"A lot of time they don't know what they are attacking, they do a quick bite and they take off," Vance said.

Vance says if you're in the water chest deep you can expect that there are sharks in the area, but it's likely smaller sharks.

Jessica Russell is visiting from Asheville, North Carolina, for the weekend.

"It actually did scare us a little bit when we came down here we didn't know there was a shark bite and they were here yesterday so they were swimming in the ocean," Russell said.

During lifeguard season, they keep an eye on not only swimmers but also dangerous sea life. The lifeguards will begin working Memorial Day weekend.

"Millions of people go out and they don't get attacked so the odds are definitely in our favor for not getting attacked by a shark," Vance said.

Nestertsov says he enjoys the beach and will keep swimming in the ocean.

"It's the same as worrying about a lightning strike when you're outside when it's storming, you're not going to not go outside," Nestertsov. "You're just going to hope that it doesn't happen to you."

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.