Here are the most dangerous beaches in the US according to research

Beaches along the U.S. coast will soon see a surge in visitors now that we’ve officially entered the start of meteorological summer, but there are plenty of dangers lurking that could turn your peaceful day under the warm sun into a nightmare.

Experts at Simmrin Law recently looked into different criteria, such as hurricane strikes, shark attacks and surf zone fatalities (such as rip currents) to come up with a list of America’s most dangerous beaches.

According to that research, all of the top 10 most dangerous beaches in America are in Florida. In fact, Simmrin Law says all of the top 25 most dangerous beaches in the U.S. are located in the Sunshine State except for one – Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

"While shark attacks often grab headlines, Florida's beaches rank so high due to the ever-present hurricane risk," said Michael Simmrin, of Simmrin Law. "Hurricanes create dangerous rip currents and storm surge, raising the overall risk for beachgoers. With summer approaching and vacations on the minds of many Americans, this study shows the importance of putting safety first when considering a trip to the beach."

Here are the top 10 most dangerous beaches in America, according to Simmrin Law.

  1. New Smyrna Beach, Florida - 76.04
  2. Panama City Beach, Florida - 67.75
  3. Daytona Beach, Florida - 60.01
  4. Miami Beach, Florida - 47.78
  5. Cocoa Beach, Florida - 46.35
  6. Ormond Beach, Florida - 41.57
  7. Ponce Inlet, Florida - 41.54
  8. Indialantic Beach, Florida - 41.02
  9. Melbourne Beach, Florida - 40.92
  10. Miramar Beach, Florida - 40.63

Simmrin Law says it used three factors – hurricanes, surf zone fatalities and shark attacks – to come up with the list.

The information was checked and ranked from 0 to 10, where 0 and 10 represent the worst and best values, respectively, present in the data to allow for accurate comparisons between the factors. Simmrin Law said factors in which a high score would be negative were subtracted from 10 to invert their score.

Once all the information was compiled, the total scores for the factors were calculated, producing an overall index score out of 100 for each entry.

Coming in at the top spot was New Smyrna Beach – not only because of its high likelihood of being impacted by a hurricane, but also because it has the highest likelihood of shark attacks.

According to Simmrin Law, 185 shark attacks have been recorded there.

Florida has also been named the shark attack capital of the world, with the Sunshine State seeing 16 unprovoked shark bites in 2023. That number represents 44% of the U.S. total and 23% of unprovoked bites around the world.

Rounding off the top 10 was Miramar Beach. Despite experiencing seven surf zone fatalities, Miramar Beach was the only location in the top 10 that didn’t have a recorded shark attack.

As stated above, all of the top 25 most dangerous beaches in America are found in Florida except for one.

Myrtle Beach came in at 23. The area has seen 24 surf zone fatalities and shark attacks, as well as 33 hurricanes, giving it a score of 38.20.