Jun 03 2015

Chessie Visits Edisto

If the thought of sharks being in the ocean freaks you out, stop reading immediately.

What’s being hailed as the ‘biggest ever’ tiger shark to be tagged on the East Coast is currently spending some time in the Atlantic Ocean right off the coast of Edisto Beach.

According to OCEARCH, a non-profit organization focused on researching the movement, biology and health of sharks, the 1,200-pound tiger shark is almost twice the size of standard tiger sharks.

The shark, which has been named Chessie after the Chechessie River in nearby Port Royal Sound, is 12 feet and 2 inches long with a head as large as a great white’s.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources caught Chessie to put tracking devices on her, take blood and DNA samples, and then sent her back into the water. She can now be tracked using the OCEARCH app, which is showing that Chessie is enjoying some time near Edisto.

Tiger sharks are generally found in tropical and temperate areas. They are frequently found in murky coastal waters where runoff occurs. In terms of human attacks, they are second to great white sharks, however, there has never been a reported tiger shark attack in the Carolinas.

While Chessie is currently pinging off the coast of Edisto, rest assured that these sharks do typically move quickly up and down the coast, so she shouldn’t be around for long. Granted, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other sharks out there, after all, it is the ocean. However, after a lifetime on Edisto Beach, I’ve yet to experience or hear about a shark doing anything to humans, so don’t be afraid to get in the water.

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