10 Deadliest Beaches in the U.S. are All in Florida

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SHREVEPORT, La. — A recent study identifying the most perilous beaches in the U.S. provides valuable insights for families planning summer beach vacations.

Families from inland areas who frequent beaches need to recognize crucial differences between pool and beach safety. Being aware of the hazards at notorious beaches can ensure a safer and more relaxing summer experience.

How can you identify beaches with hidden dangers? That’s the question Simmrin Law aimed to answer by examining hurricane data, shark attacks, and surf zone fatalities across U.S. beaches. By evaluating these factors, Simmrin researchers scored various beaches and determined which ones were the most hazardous in the country.

All of the top ten most dangerous beaches in the U.S. are located in Florida.

New Smyrna Beach

With a score of 76.04/100, New Smyrna Beach in Florida is highly susceptible to hurricanes and has the highest likelihood of shark attacks, totaling 185 in recorded history.

Daytona Beach follows with the second-highest number of shark attacks at 141.

Panama City Beach

Ranking as the second most dangerous beach in America, Panama City Beach, Florida, has faced 32 surf zone fatalities, the highest in the nation. Most of these fatalities were caused by rip currents.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, Florida, has experienced 18 recorded shark attacks and 44 surf zone fatalities, making it the third most dangerous beach due to the combination of these factors.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach, Florida, ranks high for hurricane frequency, having experienced 124 hurricanes, placing it among the top ten most dangerous beaches in the U.S.

Aerial view of the skyline of Sunny Isles Beach, Miami, Florida. (Credit: Getty)

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach in Florida has recorded 26 shark attacks, although none were fatal. However, it still ranks as the fifth most dangerous beach in the U.S. due to the number of shark attacks.

Here are some beach safety tips for a safer beach vacation:

Beach safety tips

Awareness of various conditions can be life-saving on a beach:

Pay attention to:

  • changing tide
  • currents and waves
  • drop-offs in depth
  • changes in water or air temperatures
  • locations of boats
  • weather conditions
  • location of rocks and other debris
  • presence of marine life

Additional tips from the Red Cross include:

  • enter the water cautiously and with feet first
  • do not dive in the surf
  • stay sober
  • swim with a friend even when there is a lifeguard present
  • prevent young children from wandering into the water
  • ensure everyone you’re with knows how to swim
  • create an emergency safety plan before visiting the beach

More helpful beach safety tips can be found on the Red Cross website.

Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach, Florida, ranks 6th on the list, with six surf zone fatalities caused by rip currents.

Ponce Inlet

Ponce Inlet, Florida, is the 7th most dangerous beach, with 34 shark attacks and two surf zone fatalities.

Miramar Beach, Florida (Source: Bearded Beach Hippie)

Indialantic Beach

Indialantic Beach, Florida, has faced eight shark attacks and six surf zone fatalities, ranking it 8th.

Melbourne Beach

Melbourne Beach, Florida, is the 9th most dangerous beach with 19 recorded shark attacks, primarily related to surfing.

Miramar Beach

Rounding out the list is Miramar Beach, Florida, with seven surf zone fatalities and no recorded shark attacks.

The top ten most dangerous beaches in the U.S., all in Florida, are New Smyrna Beach, Panama City Beach, Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Cocoa Beach, Ormond Beach, Ponce Inlet, Indialantic Beach, Melbourne Beach, and Miramar Beach.

Jaclyn Tripp
Jaclyn Tripp
Digital Reporter. A former print media journalist, Jaclyn loves researching lost history and painting in her free time. She received a Louisiana Press Association award for Best Investigative Reporting for an article called “Laundry’s dirty little secret.” Jaclyn graduated from the Department of Defense Information School (DINFOS) at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland.

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