"Shark Week" changes the way some people think about the beach

Sharks have taken the spotlight this week as The Discovery Channel's 26th season of "Shark Week" is well underway.

The shows, which are broadcast in 72 countries, reveal the good, the bad, and the bloody about these cartilaginous fish.

Lifeguards along the Grand Strand told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that this awe-inspiring and fear-invoking shark-series has an effect on the way beach-goers behave each year.

"A lot of times we have less people in the water. We have less people trying to swim out farther. Less people swimming near piers where they are more dangerous," said Hannah Houston, a manager of recruiting and training for Lacks Beach Service.

It's not only the number of people in the ocean that has changed. Houston said the number of people she gets coming up to her to ask about sharks also increases during "Shark Week."

However, some people enjoying the sand and the surf on Tuesday told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that all of the shark-hype doesn't bother them.

"It doesn't even phase me. I think it's hyped up by the media. People enjoy watching it and it's as simple as that," said Jim Hovan, who is visiting Myrtle Beach from Ohio.

Others said "Shark Week" even helps to ease their fears about the unknown creatures in the water.

"On one side, it relieves some of the fears people have. It makes them more comfortable around the water, and on the other hand it gives people a clue to understand that there is a danger and you have handle it properly," Diana Limanovich, who is visiting Myrtle Beach from Massachusetts.

In 2012, national reports revealed the number of shark bites were up from the year before. However, researchers attribute that number to the growing number of people who are encroaching upon the sharks' natural habitat.