7 Oregon Areas with the Most Shark Attacks

Written by Jeremiah Wright
Published: July 21, 2022
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Oregon has 30 shark attack records. Only one was fatal and occurred because of a sea disaster. Grace Conger, aged 62, died from blood loss on July 30, 1975. After her fishing boat sank off the coast of Oregon, she was attacked by sharks. 

The other 29 were unprovoked, ranking Oregon as the 7th in the top 10 U.S. states with the most shark attacks, after Florida (896), Hawaii (182), California (132), South Carolina (111), North Carolina (76), and Texas (44). None of these 29 attacks were fatal, and most of the people involved suffered minor injuries.

Let’s check out the places in Oregon with the most shark attacks.

LocationShark attacksFatalType
Winchester Bay40Unprovoked
Lincoln County40Unprovoked
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Park40Unprovoked
Indian Beach20Unprovoked
Gleneden Beach20Unprovoked
Gold Beach20Unprovoked
Oswald West State Park20Unprovoked
Bastendorf Beach10Unprovoked
Off Umpqua River10Unprovoked
Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach10Unprovoked
Myers Creek10Unprovoked
Location Unknown11Sea disaster

7 Oregon Places with the Most Shark Attacks

1. Winchester Bay 

Editorial November 10, 2016: The small fishing town of Winchester Bay is located in Douglas County on the Oregon Coast

©Manuela Durson/Shutterstock.com

Winchester Bay is located in Douglas County, Oregon. Four out of 29 unprovoked shark attacks in Oregon happened in Winchester Bay. All of them occurred while surfing, and none were fatal. The first shark attack in Winchester Bay happened on August 24, 1976. An almost 15-foot white shark attacked Mike Shook. He was 19 at the time and suffered no injuries, as the shark had bitten his board only.

Mike Allman was attacked in Winchester Bay on March 18, 1992. It’s believed a 20-23-foot-long white shark attacked him. He was 21 years old and suffered left shoulder and side wounds. The shark also broke Mike’s board.

Another white shark attack in Winchester Bay occurred on November 5, 1998. The animal measured approximately 16.5 to 20 feet long. Dale Inskeep was 32 years old and suffered no injuries. 

The last known shark attack in the region happened on September 27, 2010. Fortunately, David Lowden had no injuries. 

2. Lincoln County

Lincoln County is another region in Oregon where sharks attacked several people.


Lincoln County is another region in Oregon where sharks attacked several people. The first one happened on October 31, 2006, at the Siletz River mouth. A 16-foot-long shark attacked Tony Perez just before sundown, but the 22-year-old man suffered no injuries. 

Several years later, on October 20, 2011, Newport City registered another attack involving a white shark measuring 15 feet long and a 41-year-old man called Bobby Gumm. Luckily enough, just like Tony Perez some years before, Bobby suffered no injuries. 

Steve Harnack suffered no injuries after a white shark attacked him at Lincoln City on January 13, 2012. He was 53 years old back then. The shark only damaged his surfboard.

Andrew Gardiner was the last to be attacked by a shark in Lincoln County. The incident happened at Gleneden Beach on November 22, 2013. The 10-foot-long white shark did not bite the young man; it only broke his board.

3. Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is located in Pacific City, Oregon.

©Peter K. Ziminski/Shutterstock.com

Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area is located in Pacific City, Oregon, and features sandy beaches. The first shark attack at Cape Kiwanda happened on August 20, 1983. A white shark attacked Randy Weldon while surfing. Fortunately, Randy suffered no injuries. 

Shortly after, A 10-16.5-foot-long white shark attacked Robert Rice on September 30, 1984, while he was sitting on his surfing board. Robert was 25 years old at the time. He suffered an abrasion on his right foot, and his board was broken.

An 8-foot-long shark attacked Gary Turner on September 21, 2002, at Cape Kiwanda. He was 24 years old at the time. The animal lacerated his ankle.

The most recent shark attack at Cape Kiwanda occurred on March 5, 2019. Fortunately, Nathan Holstedt suffered no injuries, but his board was bitten and dented.

4. Seaside

Seaside is an Oregon city located in Clatsop County.

©Laurens Hoddenbagh/Shutterstock.com

Seaside is an Oregon city located in Clatsop County. The area has three shark attack records, the most recent one dating December 6, 2020. 

The first attack on Seaside happened on October 10, 2011. The surfer involved in the incident is called Doug Niblack, who, luckily, suffered no injuries. The shark measured 10-12 feet long.

Another attack happened a few months later, on December 6, 2011. There’s no record regarding the surfer’s name, but evidence shows the person involved was a woman. Besides Grace Conger, this is the only Oregon shark attack incident involving a woman. She suffered a minor injury to her calf.

Cole Herrington was bitten on December 6, 2020, while surfing. He was 20 years old and suffered injuries to his left lower leg and foot. This is the last shark attack that happened in Oregon, United States. 

5. Indian Beach 

Indian Beach is located within Ecola State Park.

©Marisa Estivill/Shutterstock.com

Indian Beach is located within Ecola State Park. If you’ve ever watched “Point Break” or “Twilight,” you’ll find this beach familiar, as several movie scenes were filmed there. 

This area has two official shark attack records. The first happened on October 23, 1988, to Wyndham Kapan, a 21-year-old surfer. A large white shark measuring 18 to 20 feet long bit the young man while he was sitting on his board, wounding his leg and fracturing his femur. The attack was unprovoked.

Another shark attack at Indian Beach happened recently, on October 10, 2016. There’s no official information regarding the shark species, but Joseph Tanner, the surfer, suffered wounds to his upper thigh and lower leg. 

6. Gleneden Beach 

Cliff at Gleneden Beach in Lincoln County, Oregon


Gleneden Beach is located in Lincoln County, Oregon. John Forse was the first person bitten by a shark in the area. The incident occurred on April 21, 1998. The surfer was lying prone on his board when a 16.5-foot-long white shark bit his right thigh. John was 50 years old back then. 

Andre Gardiner was also attacked at Gleneden Beach. On November 22, 2013, a 10-foot-long shark bit Andrew’s board. Luckily, the 25-year-old surfer did not suffer any wounds. 

Both attacks were unprovoked. 

7. Gold Beach

Gold Beach is a city in Curry County, Oregon.

©Michael 1123/Shutterstock.com

Gold Beach is a city in Curry County, Oregon. The area has had two official shark attacks. The first happened on September 13, 1992. The involved surfer was called Jerad Brittain, who was 20 years old. The attack was unprovoked and left minor bruises. The animal involved was a white shark measuring 13 to 16.5 feet long. 

Another surfer got his leg bitten by a white shark on September 20, 2004. The attack was unprovoked and not fatal. 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I hold seven years of professional experience in the content world, focusing on nature, and wildlife. Asides from writing, I enjoy surfing the internet and listening to music.

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