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  • Ian Usher of CaribbeanIslandForSale – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
    Answered by
    Posted June 13, 2013
    I live in the beautiful archipelago of Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean coast of Panama. I am on a small island, and tend to either swim or snorkel most days. And as yet, I have never felt threatened by anything "dangerous".
    The video included here was filmed on and around the island, and includes much swimming and snorkeling. We've seen barracuda, octopus, rays, and even a couple of small nurse sharks. They have all been more scared of us than we are of them.
    Every day in Bocas del Toro people swim, dive, snorkel, surf and play in the sea, and I've yet to hear of a serious incident. I imagine the most common sea creature-related problems are either cuts from getting close to the coral, spikes in a foot from standing on a spiny urchin, or an occasional sting from a jellyfish.
    I live right by Dolphin Bay, and regularly see dolphins when out in my boat or canoe. But I've yet to meet them when I'm actually in the water. That would be fun.
    Come on in, the water's lovely.
  • Michael Ducharme of Lotus Garden – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
    Answered by
    Posted January 23, 2013
    Yes. Although I've never heard anyone so much as mention the words "shark attack" in my decade of living here, the fact is that sharks and other "dangerous" ocean dwellers do not respect international borders, they do not carry passports, and they do not sign in on arrival. Since these creatures may freely swim anywhere they please, no one could ever rule out their presence in Panama.

    In fact, a surfer Web site lists 27 shark attacks in Panama, with some fatalities, and some provoked incidents.

    That being said, the most common complaint I've heard from the locals and visitors with regard to Panama's waters is not related related to sharks or even stingrays, but the pesky stinging jellyfish.
  • RENE GOMEZ of SCUBAPANAMA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
    Answered by
    Posted June 14, 2013

    Both of the oceans on either side of Panama have the usual type of tropical marine animals.
    Sharks were almost fished-out on account of the demand for their fins.
    Besides sea urchins, which are seldom seen (because they habitate inside the coral heads), the only other animal that could puncture your skin would be a stingray if bathing at low tide.  If you need to wade through, please drag your feet, because the stingray will flee when touched.
  • Rafael Alvarado of Rafael Alvarado / Attorney / Real Estate Broker – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

    There are no records of shark attacks here in Panama, or at least not that I know of. Although, there are sharks in both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, that is for sure, shark attacks such as are reported in places such as Florida do not happen here.
    There is, however, a season when jellyfish is abundant in the waters of Panama and everybody knows that it usually starts around March and goes for 20 days or so. The people who live in condominiums near the ocean receive a memo telling them not to go swimming at the beach or to look carefully at the sand because the jellyfish sometimes wash ashore, too. They also post the same memo on the elevators so everyone is informed.
  • A Whitetip Reef Shark ocean in Panama dangerous animals – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are sharks in oceans all over the world. I have never heard anything here in Panama in terms of anyone being attacked. I have never heard even one incident of an animal attack in the oceans here. I personally saw a wounded snake on the beach one day about five years ago, but not any other animals.
    You do, however, have to watch out for an undercurrent on certain beaches here in Panama. Some beaches are definitely friendlier for swimming than others.
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