25 Most Dangerous Beaches in the World

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The world’s most dangerous beaches are notorious for their specific risks and hazards.  Beachgoers should remain vigilant about potential hazards like rip currents and shark attacks.

Beaches are synonymous with relaxation and fun for many people. Some countries, however, may have dangerous beaches that you should be aware of.

25 Most Dangerous Beaches in the World

Here are some of the world’s most dangerous beaches. This arrangement is in no specific order of its level of danger.

1. Playa Zipolite Beach, Mexico


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Zipolite Beach is located in the state of Oaxaca on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The beach has powerful undertows, strong waves, and rip currents, making the waters difficult to navigate. These conditions make swimming particularly dangerous, even for experienced swimmers.

2. Fraser Island, Australia

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and is located off the coast of Queensland. Their beaches have strong rip currents which can quickly sweep swimmers away from the shore. The area also deals with its fair share of sharks, including tiger sharks and bull sharks, which makes it very dangerous.

3. New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA

New Smyrna Beach is situated on the east coast of Florida and is known as the Shark Attack Capital of the World according to Guinness Book of World records with a recorded 32 attacks since 2010(twice as many as any other U.S beach). It has a high number of shark encounters, primarily involving blacktip and spinner sharks.

The frequency of incidents has earned it a reputation for being a potentially dangerous beach for swimming, tourism or any other water related activities.

4. Hanakapiai Beach, Hawaii, USA

Hanakapiai Beach is one of the most dangerous places in the world to go swimming due to powerful rip currents and waves that are known to sweep people out to sea. Its rip currents can be extremely dangerous for swimmers.

Numerous drownings have occurred here, prompting authorities to advise against swimming due to the hazardous conditions. Officially, Due to these hazardous conditions, at least 30 persons have died in these waters.  

5. Cape Tribulation, Australia

The beach has plenty of wildlife that may stir up concern including saltwater crocodiles and box jellyfish. Both pose a significant threat to swimmers. The combination of hazardous marine life and strong currents makes Cape Tribulation a potentially dangerous place to swim. Cape Tribulation is a remote beach located in the Daintree Rainforest of Queensland.

6. Beaches of the Northern Territory, Australia

Most large beaches in the Northern Territory of Australia have venomous jellyfish which makes it really dangerous for swimming.

Box jellyfish are the most dangerous and venomous jellyfish in the world, growing up to 11 inches wide with 60 tentacles that can stretch up to 6 feet long. Their sting is so painful that some victims suffer cardiac arrest before they reach the shore. According to The Independent, nearly 80 people have died from box jellyfish stings in Australia since records began.

7. Amazon River Beaches, South America


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The waterway is home to rich biodiversity, the richest of any river in the world. However, it houses very dangerous creatures which may be harmful to humans. Creatures such as sharp-toothed, red-bellied Piranhas, anacondas, electric eels, and the candiru, a parasitic fish that can invade the human body from any opening (yes, any opening).

8. Black Sand Beaches of Kilauea, Hawaii


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The beaches sit next to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Kilauea, which has been continuously erupting since 1983 and spewing hot lava into the ocean.

The black sand beaches of Kilauea may seem inviting, they are also extremely dangerous. The temperatures of the water here can reach up to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, with some pockets reaching 190 degrees, according to USGS.

9. Gansbaai, South Africa


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Due to the large number of dangerous sharks that frequent its shoreline, Gansbaai, a town in South Africa, has earned the moniker “Great White Shark Capital of the World.”

A sizable colony of 60,000 fur seals living in the Shark Alley, a confined passageway between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, brings a sizable population of great white sharks to the area.

10. Utakleiv Beach – Norway

The islands, which lie north of the Arctic Circle, are surrounded by waters that are between 46- and 57-degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer. To put that in perspective, according to the National Center for Cold Water Safety, water below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is “extremely dangerous/immediately life-threatening.”

So, while the coastline might look romantic and attractive, especially under the dance of the northern sky, this is one Polar Bear Plunge that you should definitely avoid.

11. Boa Viagem Beach – Brazil

Boa Viagem Beach has one of the highest shark attack rates in the world – 56 in the last 20 years, with a death rate of about 37 percent. A development boom has worsened the situation, disrupting marine life and leaving sharks searching for new sources of food.

Sharks use the trench off the coast as a migratory route and do their hunting in the surrounding shallows. Due to these life-threatening creatures, this beach is best left alone.

12. Praia Do Norte – Portugal


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Praia Do Norte’s claim to fame is also the reason why it’s included here. With giant waves that have broken Guinness World Records, it is very easy for people to drown and for boats to capsize here, even when they’re near the shore.

This doesn’t stop pro surfers from coming here to try to make history by riding waves that are sometimes more than 70 feet high.

13. Reunion Island – France

Off the coast of Madagascar, this tropical escape used to be a haven for surfers. But since 2011, when there were six reported shark attacks, it has slowly turned into a ghost town. Over the years, the problem has only worsened; just last winter, a surfer was killed by a shark.

The fear of shark attacks has taken a toll on local tourism, helping to preserve the natural beauty of the island but, sadly, stifling the local economy.

14. Staithes Beach – U.K.

This beach is frequently on the EU’s “swimming prohibited” list, this beach is known for its garbage. Farm sewage drains into the harbor, raising the water pollution levels to an unsafe level.  Swimming in said waters can cause diarrhea, E. coli, meningitis, typhoid, and hepatitis A.

15. Chowpatty Beach – India

Chowpatty, which oddly enough is popular among tourists, is dangerously polluted, with an ungodly combination of untreated sewage, garbage, and sunken coal seeping into its water and sand. This is one of the most toxic beaches not just in India, but in the entire world. There are so many things to see and do in Mumbai; this beach is not one of them.

16. Second Beach – South Africa

This beach in Port St. John’s is one of the world’s most dangerous beaches for shark attacks, most of which are caused by bull sharks. In the last five years alone, these sea predators have claimed the lives of eight people. This should make you steer clear.

17. Dumas Beach- India

Dumas Beach in the state of Gujarat, along the Arabian Sea, is considered to be one of the most haunted beaches in the world. Originally a cremation ground, it is reportedly home to spirits that continue to roam its shores.

However, it’s not just ghoulish rumors that add to the mystery of this beach — it also has a reputation for people disappearing and is home to a group of deadly king cobras, making it one of the world’s dangerous beaches as well.

This beach is rumored to be among the best surf spots in the world, but few actually attempt to ride its legendary barrels to shore. The danger lies under the waves, where old nuclear submarines lay on the bottom, slowly leaking radiation.

18. Rockaway Beach – Oregon

Rockaway Beach is dangerous because humans have rendered it so by building jetties on it. Though built in order to protect the shoreline, jetties can be dangerous, especially when people walk or climb them in order to get good Instagram pics. Every year sees incidents of people slipping from jetties or being swept away by the strong Oregon waves that hit them.

19. Cairns – Australia

Cairns, in North Queensland, might be the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, but its waters hold much more than that. The time between November and June is notoriously called “stinger season” because of the jellyfish that infest the area’s waters. The stings of some of the varieties of jellyfish, like the Irukandji and Chironex fleckeri, can be dangerous to humans.

20. Cable Beach – Australia

Cable Beach in Broome has a particularly large concentration of scary animals. On land, there are poisonous snakes and spiders, and in the water, deadly box jellyfish and white pointer sharks roam. There are also saltwater crocodiles that lurk beneath the waves.

There have been many fatal encounters between swimmers and box jellyfish, especially between November to March, though it’s best to stay out of the water without a stinger suit year-round.

21. Manaus Beaches – Brazil

The dangers of the beaches in Manaus don’t lurk in the water. Rather, these beaches are notorious for high crime rates. If you are going to explore the beaches in Manaus, it is best to leave everything important at home.

Carry only the minimum cash needed, plus an amount to hand over to thieves, should you come into contact with them. It is best to leave the beach far before it gets dark. Avoiding Manaus altogether might be the more sensible plan.

22. Tamarama Beach – Australia

It is said to be the most dangerous patrolled beach in all of Australia. Tamarama Beach is wedged between two sandstone headlands, and the high-intensity waves ensure that two rips are present on the beach. As a result, there are about 150 rescues each year, the highest number in Sydney’s southern beaches.

23. West End Beach – Bahamas

West End Beach, while beautiful, has a dangerous deadly secret. This beach contains the largest concentration of tiger sharks in the world and ranks as one of the planet’s top 10 most shark-infested beaches. In addition to tiger sharks, be on the lookout for hammerheads, blacktips, and bull sharks.

24. Virginia Beach – Virginia

Virginia Beach has been struggling with wild fox attacks for years. The foxes tend to sneak up on people resting in the sand, especially if they have food. Most concerning, they have a tendency to attack beachgoers’ pets.

As the summer is present and the coast season is in full swing, it is imperative for beachgoers to be extremely careful, and attentive and remain on guard about possible threats such as violent currents and encounters with sharks.

25. Panama City Beach- America

There has been an increasing number of recent drownings that have propelled Panama City Beach into the top spot as the deadliest beach in America.

The deaths were attributed to drownings in rip currents, powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that can pull a swimmer away from the shore. According to tracking by the National Weather Service, the U.S. has had 60 surf zone fatalities in 2023.

As the summer is present and the coast season is in full swing, it is imperative for beachgoers to be extremely careful, and attentive and remain on guard about possible threats such as violent currents and encounters with sharks.

Final Words

Some of the deadliest beaches in the world are well known for their unique risk factors and hazards. The presence of potentially dangerous wildlife, life-threatening currents, an elevated frequency of shark attacks, pollution as well and regular drownings are just a few of the factors that have been considered.

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