Crime and Dangers

Most visitors to Bermuda enjoy a trouble-free visit. The island has a relatively low crime rate and few natural dangers.

Crime Rate

There was once a time when serious crime in Bermuda was virtually non-existent. Although this is no longer the case, crime levels have fallen considerably in recent years. The total number of crimes recorded in 2019 was the lowest this century. Bermuda is not a dangerous country.

The total number of crimes every year from 2000 to 2019 are shown in the table below:

Gang Violence, Gun Crime, and Murders

Gang violence and gun crime rocketed in the first decade of this century.

Looking at the raw data for gun crime during this period might give the impression that Bermuda was a dangerous place for tourists to visit. The reality was very different.

Virtually all the gun crime related to disputes between a handful of gangs and individuals. Shootings were targeted and most took place in residential areas frequented by the gangs concerned. No tourists were killed or injured, or, as far as we are aware, even witnessed these acts.

In 2017 the government launched a plan to tackle gun and gang violence, forming a dedicated Gang Violence Reduction Team.

The plan has been a great success and the level of gun crime and gang violence has sharply decreased.

At the beginning of 2020 the Bermuda Government announced that there were no murders recorded in Bermuda in 2019.  For 2019 at least, Bermuda was the country with the lowest murder rate in the world. It is not a dangerous country.

Burglary

Burglaries from hotels and guest houses are quite rare. In 2013 there were just 11 crimes of this nature.

Nevertheless, take sensible precautions such as keeping and valuables in a safe and locking doors and windows.

Scooter Thefts

Scooter theft is relatively common in Bermuda. Local youths like to take the bikes and go joyriding, usually riding them on remote roads and causing significant damage.

All scooter rental companies will provide you with a steel U-lock. They’re virtually impossible to break and will reduce the chances of your scooter being stolen to almost zero. If the scooter is stolen you could be liable for a proportion of its cost.

Robbery

Robberies surged a few years ago with many bag snatches recorded. Pitts Bay Road in Pembroke and Court Street in Hamilton were some of the most favoured locations for thieves.

Installation of CCTV cameras in these and other areas have reduced robberies and other crimes significantly.

Harassment/Soliciting

There’s little harassment or soliciting in Bermuda. Even movie stars and other celebrities are generally left alone. We’ve seen English Premiership football players and movie stars in bars, receiving little more than cursory glances.

Visit the beach (or anywhere else) and you won’t be approached by locals trying to sell you drugs or other services.

Dangerous Areas

There are few dangerous areas in Bermuda. The area around Court Street in the north of Hamilton, known locally as Back o’ Town, has a reputation for drug dealing and other crimes. We wouldn’t class the neighbourhood as particularly unsafe or threatening, though we would advise exercising caution if visiting.

Terrorism

Bermuda has not witnessed any acts of terrorism. The island has very strict controls over its borders and is geographically isolated. It would be extremely difficult for terrorists to import weapons, explosives etc.

Furthermore the Bermuda Government does not get involved in international politics, wars, conflicts, and disputes. The country is simply not a target for terrorist groups.

Natural Dangers

Rip Currents

Rip currents do form on beaches in Bermuda (and indeed many beaches around the world). They’re not particularly dangerous, provided you know how to handle them.

They’re created when incoming waves cause water to build up on the shore. The water tries to return to the ocean but is prevented from doing so by more waves. The water then moves sideways until it finds a spot where it can return. A fast moving channel of water heading out to the ocean then forms.

Rip currents are fairly easy to spot. Look for a small flat section of water between waves.

The most common mistake a person caught in a rip current makes is to try and swim directly towards the shore. However, this is difficult for even the most competent of swimmers. The correct thing to do is go with the current until it dissipates, and then swim diagonally back towards the shore.

Portuguese Man-of-War

The Portuguese man-of-war is occasionally found in Bermuda, particularly on the southern beaches such as Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach. It looks like a jellyfish, but isn’t. It’s a siphonophore, an organism made of up many smaller organisms. A jellyfish is a single organism.

Its most distinctive feature is its body; a gas-filled balloon like translucent float. This isn’t the dangerous part though. The thing you need to worry about is the tentacles that dangle beneath. They can reach about 150 feet in length and bear toxic cells for stinging and killing prey (shrimp etc.).

Though not the intended target, they do sting humans. In most cases a sting will cause severe pain and discomfort. Death is extremely rare.

Portuguese men-of-war tend to travel in large numbers. They’re difficult to spot in the water but if they’re about you’ll see some washed up on the shore.

Stings are actually quite rare. Each year around 30 people seek treatment at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The island has a population of over 60,000 and receives around 500,000 visitors each year. Given that many locals visit the beach regularly and most visitors will also take a dip in the ocean, the chance of getting stung are fairly remote.

If you’re still concerned about the Portuguese man-of-war then visit one of the beaches with lifeguards (e.g. Horseshoe Bay). The lifeguards are trained to deal with the stings and can get you to hospital if necessary.

Portuguese Man of War washed up on Elbow Beach in Bermuda

Sharks

Sharks are fairly prevalent in the ocean around Bermuda. Common types found in the waters around the island include Galapagos and tiger sharks.

Despite public perception, sharks will usually try and avoid contact with humans. They rarely come close to the shore, preferring to hang around the reef line and beyond. Many water sports operators in Bermuda report never having seen one.

Globally, shark attacks are extremely rare. In 2019 the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) reported only 64 unprovoked shark attacks in the entire world. Only 2 of these were fatal.

US visitors should be more concerned about being attacked by a shark in their own country. Of the 64 unprovoked attacks in 2019, 41 (64%) took place in the US. 11 (17%) attacks were recorded in Australia. The Bahamas ranked third highest in list with 2 attacks (one of which was fatal).

The likelihood of being attacked by a shark in Bermuda is very remote.  The last reported shark attack was a minor incident many decades ago.

Other Dangerous Animals – Snakes, Spiders etc.

There are no snakes, dangerous spiders, poisonous bees, or any other dangerous wild animals in Bermuda.

Some snakes have accidentally been brought to the island in luggage, golf bags etc. No breeding populations have been established.

Hurricanes

The island is occasionally affected by hurricanes. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. For more details see our special section on hurricanes.

Traffic Accidents

Tourists cannot hire regular cars in Bermuda. They can rent small electric vehicles.

Most tourists choosing not to travel by public transport, rent a scooter. Many will be unaccustomed to driving scooters.

Visitors should be aware that road conditions are considerably different to the US and Canada. Most roads are narrow, winding, and undulating. Although the maximum speed limit is 35 km/h (25 mph), it is widely ignored.

The island has an excellent public transport system. Fares are cheap and services frequent. It is also a small island; with an area of just 21 square miles. There is almost no location not within easy walking distance of a bus or ferry stop.

Health

Bermuda has an advanced healthcare system and there are no particular health risks associated with a trip to the island.

Visitors should be aware that weather may be different to what they are accustomed to. Strong sunshine, high air temperatures and humidity in the summer months can lead to dehydration and sunburn. Apply sun cream, drink plenty of water, and cover up to minimise any problems.

In 2006 smoking was banned in indoor public spaces.

At the time of writing (February 2020), the most recent published figures (for 2018) show there were 299 persons in Bermuda living with HIV/AIDS. 213 were male and 86 female. Of the total; 230 were Bermudian and 69 non-Bermudian. 5 new cases were diagnosed in 2018.

Official Travel Advice

The vast majority of visitors to Bermuda come from the US, Canada, and the UK. Citizens of these countries can seek government travel advice from the following websites:

All have special sections dealing with potential dangers in countries around the world, including Bermuda.

Governments concerned will post specific travel advisories, warnings, and details of threats to their citizens on these pages.

Comments and Additional Information

  1. Thank you for your opinion. They wrote in great detail. Important information for me.

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    • 64000 people. Large immigrant population. (Note I don’t call them expats. If you are there for more than 2/3 years you are a migrant).
      There is too much crime for a small island. You need to imagine a similar population in a district within a large country. With these stats I wouldn’t go there.
      There is resentment on both sides. Migrants look down on Bermudans and vice versa.

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  2. I read on another site that Bermuda relaxed its immigration standards years ago to allow people from the West Indies in (no doubt to drive down labor costs). A spike in crime was the result just as in America with a wide open southern border.

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  3. But it was the incredible incompetence of the Bermudian prosecutors and judge that allowed the murderers to go free.

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  4. I moved to Bermuda with my employer. I am very unhappy living here. The people are not welcoming, there is a clear issue with racism and customer service is a foreign term.
    I understand now why the hospitality industry is a failure here. Bermuda might have beautiful beaches, but that’s about it. I’m counting the days to leave and would not return, even for vacation.

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    • WOW!!! So sorry for these experiences that you have had, that have brought you to this conclusion.
      I have been going to Bermuda for over 40 years and have also lived there. I cannot resonate with your description and also not trying to negate your feelings.
      My experiences, over the decades, are totally different. Have times changed YES, but that hasn’t, yet endless greetings, smiling faces and welcoming encounters have never ceased for me. I even feel tears well, as I write this, because my love for this country has and will never cease.
      I know from my first descent upon this tiny land mass in the Atlantic, I was blessed with a piece of heaven on earth.

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      • I lived in Bermuda also but don’t find that Bermudians are so welcoming sweet.

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  5. Bermuda remains a special place. It is perhaps not the quiet, crime free place that it was 50 years ago. But then, nowhere is like it was 50 years ago. Still, it is safer than most places I’ve been (and I’ve been around!). I find the most dangerous thing on this beautiful Island is not muggings, crime or anything in the water. The odds of your experiencing any of those is miniscule. But if you rent a moped, watch out. That might be the ruination your holiday. It’s not the driving on the left side of the road that is the problem. Nor is it operating the bikes themselves. They are very simple and easy to ride. The roads are narrow and wind around a lot (formerly horse trails and foot paths). But the Island speed limit is about 20 mph. So the curves are not so bad. The problem is the few young “hotshot” locals who drive very fast, and pass on the curves. In doing that they will sometimes cross the centre line into the lane of oncoming traffic. They tend to kill themselves on a regular basis riding like that. Unfortunately, they have been known to take innocent, rule abiding, tourists or locals with them. So if you rent a “bike” (Bermudian for moped) be aware of the possibility (especially on tight curves with little or no sight distance) of oncoming speeders. They may drift in your lane (coming head on) as they pass people in their lane. And be aware you will occasionally have these same hot-heads coming up from behind you and passing very close at high speed. It will startle you for sure. And if you happen to drift slightly to the right (still within your lane) as they come screaming past, they may hit you. They go by that close and that fast. I have been riding/working /living in Bermuda on and off since the 1960’s. In those days bike engine sizes were limited by law and no one could speed very much. Now those limits have been abolished and young kids have powerful bikes. It was much safer back then. The change in the laws didn’t do much for locals who still ride smaller bikes/scooters. But it has made the roads much less safe because now irresponsible youths ride high powered bikes with abandon. I have always been completely at home on riding mopeds (rented or owned) there. But these days I ride with trepidation… Constantly aware that, as I approach each curve, some idiot may come around corner, head on, and in my lane because he is passing a car or bus in his lane. It is a set up for a head on disaster. So, if you rent a moped, be very aware that you must practice defensive driving… Every curve has a more or less short visual range and the oncoming traffic in hard to see. Frankly, speeders in that short visual range are more dangerous (and more likely to impact you) than sharks (zero problem there), man of war (small chance you’ll even see one), muggings, attacks, thefts (None of those even worth worrying about). But speeding motorcycles, and no police presence to control them, are the big menace these days in Bermuda. Best to take a taxi or the bus. Or if you do decide to rent a moped (which is after all, the most fun way to see the island) just remember what I’ve said here. Be ever vigilant. But don’t forget to enjoy the sights. It is a very special place ( I return annually and always feel the gentle nature of the Island the moment I get off the plane). The natural beauty, the distinctive architecture and the brightly painted homes along with all the lovely people make it unique, beautiful, endearing and charming. I love the Island! (Can’t say the same for the few wild drivers who make the roads so dangerous for the rest of us).

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    • Very helpful information. Thank you…

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    • Right. I could not have said it better. Wake up Bermuda and get some mobile traffic speed cameras which can be moved to different locations.

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    • Been to Bermuda many times , back in 1990 I experienced a fast driver on moped that I ended up in the woods. I burned my leg on the pipe. I would use public transportation or the rail trail to ride bike or moped as much as possible. Bermuda is well worth the trip. ❤️😀

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  6. I just watched the Rebecca Middleton story, a mark of shame on Bermuda. I’m an American and refuse to leave my motherland under any conditions. Vacations can be taken in any one of our beautiful 50 states. The Bermuda judicial system just brushed aside a brutal torture, rape, and murder of a young tourist girl. The perps received next to no punishment at all. In fact, one walked free in spite of the overwhelming evidence. The judge refused to hear the case. It wasn’t his daughter who was slaughtered, so apparently he didn’t care. You can keep your Island. I’ll never be visiting. I like the fact that we do punish people for murder in the US. The devils who murdered Rebecca would’ve more than likely received the death penalty here. I like the fact that I can carry a gun and take care of an attacker myself. Everyone should learn of what you did to Rebecca Middleton and her family. I doubt they would be so anxious to vacation in Bermuda. I can’t help but wonder if the judge was biased because Rebecca was a tourist. It’s disgusting to think these vicious heathens were freed to kill again, absolutely shameful.

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    • You won’t leave the USA? What is the matter with you? I’ve travelled the world and I can tell you your country doesn’t even crack my top 10. This is why people don’t like Americans. They don’t get out of their own little bubble.

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      • Hold up, Dave. Being so well travelled I’m sure you know better than to judge a country based on one person’s extreme opinion. You are just as bad as the original poster. She’s judging a country based off of a few criminals. Think about what you say next time. Just a contradiction i couldn’t help but point out. By the way…I loved bermuda, and had the vacation of a.lifetime there. I definitely recommend to my fellow Americans!

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      • “This is why people don’t like Americans” – REALLY???
        What a rude thing to say, probably because you’re not American. You just have no manners, weren’t taught any apparently.

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      • This is hilarious. Yes, The world is a beautiful place and should not be judged by one event. I’m a proud American but understand we are not the be all/end all. If all one does is travel within the US, you are missing out on the different cultures and therefore have no empathy for those who look, think, and behave differently from those good ol’ boys in the States.

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      • I agree with Dave I’m an American and I would travel in a heartbeat to Bermuda again and I’m crippled in disabled and I have a hard time getting around

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    • I hope you are aware that a Bermudian did not commit that crime. The actual person that did it was set free back to his country.

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      • I lived in Bermuda for 12 years as a young teenager into adulthood. This island is very beautiful but is a disgrace when it come to human descency and the Judicial system. It’s racism is sickening and many Bermudians are very judgmental and narrow minded as all they know is their Little Rock. The younger generation love to imitate gangs they see on TV and put innocent tourists in serious danger. Killings go on continuously and killers are either never found or get let off scot free. It’s sad really because Bermuda has potential to be great, but too many of its locals are ruining it for the whole country. I left over a decade ago and never have and never will go back.

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    • thank you for informing me about this. that is simply despicable! I had so much fun there years ago on my first and only trip. I will not think of going ever now.

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    • Not at all conforming to your national stereotype then.

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    • Your loss, love Bermuda, going again in June

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    • Stuff like this still happens al the time on this disgusting Rock.

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  7. Crime statistics for 2013 have just been updated. No statistics for the first quarter of 2014 are currently available on the Bermuda Police Service website.

    Crime is showing a decreasing trend. The total number of crimes in 2013 was 3,480 (well down on the 5,333 crimes recorded in 2010). There were 21 firearms offences in 2013, a significant drop from the 120 recorded in 2010. Robberies, burglaries, and weapons offences have also dropped dramatically.

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  8. I’m a Bermudian who lives abroad now, but spent 38 years of my life on the Island. I swam off the beaches and jumped off boats and docks every chance I could, (Except November-May 24 Brrrr) and never saw a shark. The colour of the water is like no other.

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    • Hi Tina, I’m doing research I’d like to move there. Is there an area you can recommend? Or anything you can tell me about Bermuda living. Thanks in advance.

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  9. I lived in Bermuda for a couple of years in the early 70’s. I attended what was then Sandy’s Grammar school and remember a visit from an astronaut though I don’t remember which one! I would stop off at the Sugar Cane Motel for a coca cola on my way home from school, which was owned by a couple named Mickey and Buck. I often wonder what happened to them. The house I lived in was on the East Shore road, and it was haunted by a screaming woman that used to terrify me! I enjoyed my brief stay there, but I do remember us being burgled. I always said it was the gardener, but no one was willing to listen to a kid!

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  10. Yes Bermuda is beautiful but is ruined by the totally inadequacy of the justice system. My sister is buried in Bermuda and her boyfriend was charged with manslaughter but walked free following a farce of a trial. Another guilty man who has exploited the weaknesses in the system. I live in hope that one day justice will be done but 16 years on from her death I doubt that this will happen and there can be no closure. If anyone reading this can do anything to re-open the case I would be very grateful.

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  11. It is not the sharks that are dangerous. It is humans that are reckless, remember you are invading their home. They are not coming on land hunting humans.

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  12. I lived in Bermuda from 1979 to 84 and they were among the happiest days of my life. I worked in the Bermuda Civil Service (on loan from UK Dept of Employment) – retired at 60 and stayed on to teach at the College for a couple of years. My wife Beryl who worked in the Cabinet Office as the PM’s social secretary died in 2001 and I have been alone since. I am now 91.
    I have written a number of books and my latest novel includes chapters about life on the enchanting island that I have never had the chance to revisit. If there is anybody around who still remembers me I should be delighted to hear from them and might I perhaps ‘axe’ them (I remember my Bermuda lingo), to refresh my memory of events that happened all those years ago for inclusion in my book.

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    • Would like to read your your books. Sounds like an interesting life you’ve had there.

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    • Cedric: While we do not remember you from your Bermuda Days, we fondly remember our encounters in Utah and in the UK. Your work on the family is so important and we would like to reconnect if you are able and have access to a computer. We are excited to find information about you. We have searched and finally came across this site. Please let us know how you are and know of our love and respect for you. Brenda

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    • Oh how cool is that. You have all of those memories. Hope people you knew will contact you. I plan on visiting Bermuda for the first time.

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  13. I’m not to concerned with the sharks. If someone came into my house and started aggravating me I would bite too.
    Sharks are dangerous and dogs can be too. You should be cautious in the ocean just as you would be cautious at a dog park. Don’t be stupid but don’t peg them as killing machines.

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    • I was born in Bermuda and moved abroad for a while (school). i then moved back and was working at Westgate Correctional Facility during clean sweep. Bermy has changed a lot. The judicial system is bad. I moved back abroad and when I visit I want to leave within 2 days. I’m sorry but I’m over Bermuda.

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  14. I grew up in Bermuda (now live in London) and noticed a huge difference when I moved there a second time after being in Europe for 5 years. The Bermuda that I knew and loved had changed dramatically – rise in crime, bad atmosphere and tension. My family always reminisced on how friendly the island was but sadly this was not the case when we moved back and we cut our second time there short, preferring to move back to the UK. It’s a shame that experience tainted my fondness of my childhood home for a long time and I yet to return. When I think of Bermuda now, I remember it’s natural beauty and to this day maintain it is one of the most beautiful islands with some of the most stunning in the world. Such a shame it’s becoming like the Caribbean (it’s own worst enemy back in my time there). Sharks were never a problem when I used to swim in Bermuda’s waters, it’s the Portuguese man of war, moray eels and barracudas you gotta watch out for.

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    • I agree. I remember being Bermuda in the late eighties and it was heaven. I have recently gone back to visit and although still beautiful, the same friendly loving vibe was not as prevalent. A shame.

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  15. I have lived in Bermuda. My fiance is Bermudian. We are planning to move back shortly. Bermuda has changed, of course. The violence is worse, but that is expected with the bad economy and lack of punishments that are issued. However, it is not any worse than any other country. Perhaps its small size makes it seem worse. Like with any other country, as a tourist you must be wise to your surroundings. You are never truly safe wherever you go in the world, but that should not take away from your eperiences. I always say to act like you live there. Walk like you know where you are going, and act like you know what you are talking about and doing. Avoid the fanny packs, they scream tourist! Sure there are some areas to stay away from, but i’ve been to those areas, alone (I am a small female) and have never had any issues. The majority of Bermudians are the nicest of people you will ever meet. They are willing to help out strangers who are lost. Of course you will come across those who aren’t but, again, that is all over the world!

    As for the sharks, puh-lease. Haven’t seen one yet. The waters are safe, with the exception of those lovely man of wars, but everyone knows when they are around (as most times the beaches are littered with them) and to stay out of the water at those times. I’ve never had any problems or encountered any issues swimming in Bermuda at all different times of the year. Although I don’t suggest winter months, as it gets pretty cold!

    (@Tiffany, sharks are not dangerous. They are animals reacting on instinct. They do not know you are human. To them you are food. Unlike us, they don’t discriminate! Having said that, how many sharks kill or harm humans around the globe annually compared to how many we kill? Perhaps a few hundred (if that) compared to the millions we slaughter? Stating they are dangerous without any facts, only adds to fear and the death of innocent creatures. Most sharks stay away from humans. Believe me, you have swam with many more sharks than you know if you have swam in any ocean, when you consider the amount of species there actually are.)

    Bermuda is a wonderful place to go for a nice relaxing vacation. It is pricey, but the charm of the island and her people will make up for that! I cannot wait to call it my home again!

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    • After reading a number of posts I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth the trip? It’s on my bucket list of destinations to visit, in this case a belated honeymoon. I also need to stay connected to the internet. I don’t want to have to worry about getting ripped off.

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      • Bermuda is one of the safest countries in the world. Fraud/rip-offs/scams directed at tourists are rare. I certainly haven’t heard of any cases. You’ll have no problem connected to the internet. Internet cards for short-term visitors and tourists are available.

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      • Barry-
        I’m with you. Never been to Bermuda, THOUGHT I wanted to go. NOT NOW. Not ever. Not after reading all these posts from real people, not “Editors” comments. Real people, real lives. Sure you can take a chance that nothing may happen, or you can go somewhere where if something does happen at least their judicial system will apply punishment. Really sounds like Bermuda is meant only for islanders to slay each other (all crimes, not killing) and visitors should go elsewhere. That is exactly what I am going to do – go elsewhere.

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    • Yes sharks are magnificent creatures and have a rightful and useful place in the sea however they are dangerous and should be feared regardless of the kill ratio that changes nothing in regard to their instinct for killing and eating to survive. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t around or any less dangerious under the right cicumstances they will attack don’t ever get the notion they are friendly or evil they are looking for food period. Fear shows intelligence it’s thinking ahead to avoid danger when someone tells me I don’t need to be afraid when we know there is danger lurking I begin to question their intelligence.

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      • There are other fish in Bermuda that are much more aggressive than sharks that get no bad press at all. Swimming off our beaches is regarded as very safe because there is a ring of reefs around the island. Sharks rarely venture inside the reef line. Sharks are not that aggressive – you’ve obviously seen jaws too many times.

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  16. We’ve had no problems and been there 3 times. There are a few locals that are younger youth that may be gang affiliated but never had any problems. We stayed at a manor in Paget that was haunted. Doors opening, windows opening up and shutting and lights turning off and on. It was scary at first then become kind of laugh. Our host kind of shuggred when we asked about the property and was told that many families have lived in the same area since the 1700’s. Thanks Celia for a great time

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  17. I was in Bermuda and enjoyed scuba diving. In fact, my girlfriend and I found some interesting coins and small bottles of morphine in one shipwreck. The moray eels were a bit bitey but other than that we had a nice time.

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  18. My mother was born in Bermuda. I have been twice. Lots of relatives there so stayed with those when I visited in 77 and 79 and 88. A beautiful paradise has unfortunately been spoilt by a small minority who don’t appreciate that it is one of the best places in the world. I don’t qualify to live there but I have my memories with me to last a lifetime. The true islanders are so warm and friendly.

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    • Not all the true islanders are nice, warm people. I have islander in-laws who are VERY snobby, VERY standoffish and downright nasty if you are not in their circle. They are a very wealthy, influential family in Bermuda who have no character or class, in my opinion. Wild horses could not drag me onto that island….

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  19. Bermuda is awesome!! I have gone twice and am due to go back this April. I am so excited. The hotel we stay at have very, very friendly staff who are always there to help. Bermudians, in general, are very kind and helpful. My family and I did not go out after dark except around our resort.

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  20. I lived in Bermuda for 15 years before retiring and moving away in 2008. If I could afford it (Bermuda is a very expensive place to live), I would move back in a heartbeat. I have never met more welcoming, friendly people anywhere in my long life of travelling and living abroad. If you have a friendly manner and a ready smile, you’ve got it made in Bermuda. Two weeks after I arrived there, a neighbour organized a "Welcome to Bermuda" dinner introducing me to all of her friends, including a few eligible bachelors, providing the most sublime food, copious amounts of excellent wines, and lively, informative conversation. Thereafter, I was invited every weekend by someone from that group to go out to dine, attend cultural events, attend a house part or just hang out. Waiting on the corner for the lights to change, strangers would strike up conversations, as would seat-mates on the buses, restaurant servers, sales clerks, etc. If they saw me again, they greeted me as a tried and true friend would…often with a warm embrace and always with genuine enquiries as to my well-being. My life has been unfathomably enriched simply by my having lived in Bermuda and having embraced their gracious manner of dealing with strangers. As for sharks…saw a few but they weren’t interested in me at all.

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  21. Bermuda is paradise. It is a shame that some of the younger generation have no moral compass, and are disrupting our society. But for the most part, Bermudians are friendly and generous caring people.

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  22. I visited Bermuda in 2008 and I was robbed while driving my moped. I was not to far from the Dockyard. My daughter was on the back of my moped. Along came another moped, with two young men on it. They pulled up beside us, punched my daughter, kicked my moped over (I was probably going about 40 mph), grabbed our belongings off the basket and kept going. This all happened so quickly, in seconds We were headed toward a large boulder. I really thought in those few quick seconds, that we were going to die. I am not a strong woman. It was the grace of God that gave me the strength to straighten the bike out and stop it. Other people stopped to help us. A cab driver was more than helpful!! With his help, one of the robbers was caught!!! It would have been one thing to grab our stuff and flee but to endanger our lives infuriates me!!! I spent the next day at the police station all day. Another wasted day!! Police told me that this happens more than people think in Bermuda and that moped rentals don’t warn their customers about the crimes. A lot of young Bermudians (and older too) have better, faster mopeds than the ones that are rented out. Great escape for a Bermudian robber. On the third day, my ship departed. So, I still didn’t get to see much of Bermuda. My brand new camera with my cruise pictures and Bermuda were in the bag. Also some new clothes & bathing suites and sandals that we had bought for the trip. All in all, it probably totaled around $300. Luckily, my wallet was in my shorts pocket. I am cruising back again to Bermuda in a few weeks. Hopefully, I will have a better time and better luck!! Other than those two bad people I encountered there, Bermudians are wonderful bunch. However, I will never rent a moped again. If you rent one, heed my advice!!! Don’t put your valuables in the basket or anywhere where robbers can snatch them easily. Also, don’t look like a tourist. Good luck!

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    • Just got back from Bermuda this morning on the MS Veendam. We were docked for a full 3 days, and have made this same trip about 5 times in the past several years. Although I’m sure it is fun (and dangerous since they drive on the left) to rent a moped/scooter to get around, please know that if you are planning your first trip to Bermuda it is totally unnecessary!. Their bus system is very well managed. All buses (that I’ve been on) were modern, air-conditioned vehicles. The narrow roads and hairpin turns make for a fun ride for just a few dollars. Skip the scooters (and the taxis) and take the bus to the beautiful beaches!

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    • You were doing FORTY mph on a moped with a passenger? Bermuda’s maximum speed limit is 21 (TWENTY-ONE) mph. Were you speeding at such an excessive rate to get away from the assault and theft? I do not follow.

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  23. I recently received some overbooking vouchers from AirTran and took my wife to Bermuda, for she had never been before. My wife’s family is from Jamaica, so she always assumes that no other island is as good as Jamaica. She always finds a flaw. Well, when we walked to the beach a Warwick Long Bay and we popped out of the shrubbery to the sand. She looked and turned to me, and said, "I’ve never seen any island this beautiful in my life". After we toured around the smaller local beaches and the Dockyard on our scooter and engaged some of the local residents, she said again, "yes, it is better". She was literally blown away by the friendliness and the care. We got just a little lost on the scooter and cab driver immediately stopped when he saw us looking at the map and asked what helped we needed. Again, she smiled, "it is better". So Bermuda thank you for letting her know, what I already knew (last time there 10 years ago), that yes, "Bermuda is the best".

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    • Tammi:
      Reading your comment appauls me! How can you even possibly hold a child of 17 years of age responsible for this crime? Because that is exactly what you are doing by your statement. How should she not have known better?? She’s 17, young and naive obviously. The problem is with the government of Bermuda who just let the murderer(s) go. No apology, no logic, no reason. AND saying her parents should be ashamed of themselves! OMG Girl you are WAY OUT OF LINE. I don’t know these people at all, but you have absolutely no right to make a statement like that. They lost their daughter and all you’re concerned with is that people know how great the people are on Bermuda. Really? What a loser you are. Go have another cigarette and get lost. Again.

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  24. I like you Mel am appalled by the comment about the Rebecca MIddleton case. Yes she was murdered here in Bermuda but as Mel has said she was NOT murdered by Bermudians. And i do hope this does not make me sound cold in any way because the way she was killed was brutal and heinous, but…all 17 year old girls should know better than to get on a auxiliary cycle, in a foreign place with two strangers. I’m a Bermudian and I wouldn’t even do that here or anywhere. But with the original point…crime is EVERYWHERE. A Bermudian can go to Canada and be murdered. SO please do not use that case against us as a people, a country, as a whole. That had nothing to do with Bermuda apart from the location. We are very friendly and welcome. And her parents should be ashamed of themselves for holding this island responsible for what foreigners did to their daughter. I am deeply sorry for their lose but to hold us accountable is wrong.

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    • The tone of your comment is exactly what Canadians object to. First of all, it is less than charitable to blame the victim (a child) for poor judgment. Second, while it may be be true that Bermudians did not kill this girl, the justice system of Bermuda was willfully negligent. From Canada it very much appears that they were more concerned by the impact on tourism than the tragic fate of the poor girl and her parents. And finally, I think the parents have been quite restrained. If my daughter were tortured and killed (treated like a piece of garbage), then the justice system bungled it in the worst way, and finally I was give a couple of thousand dollars in compensation, I would be much more vitriolic. I understand that not all Bermudians are responsible for this horrific crime, but until I hear some contrition from the government, and hopefully a formal apology, I would not set foot on that island, and I know a lot of other Canadians (and even Americans) feel the same way.

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      • The govt was not hiding it because of tourism. I know I was a cop there. The govt put a lot of pressure on bring the killers to justice to fast and the police charge the wrong one with her murder. when the case was play out in court it came out the wrong guy was charge for murder when it should have been the other way around. We did make a huge mistake on this one because we rushed the investigation. That time is still talk about and most bermudians are very sorry for it.

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    • One of her murders was Jamaican and one was bermudian. So I don’t know where u get off telling the family that. Would u also like the name of the bermudian too.

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  25. I lived in Bermuda from 2008 to 2010 and used to swim most mornings in the ocean with a group called the Bermuda Open Water Swimmers (BOWS). We swam at 6.30 am each morning in places like Harrington Sound, Shelley Bay and Gibbetts beach on north shore, sometimes starting when it was still dark. Never once did I or any other swimmer encounter a shark. We sometimes saw the odd harmless spotted eagle ray. I found Bermudians friendly and helpful. However the island is getting pricey.

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  26. Bermuda is a paradise island. Go to The Bahamas and it is crime ridden. Puerto Rico has 606 murders as of 07/2011 and there is trash (garbage) all over. Shame on the people of The Bahamas and Puerto Rico. Your personal country pride should include taking care of your natural resources and not trashing your own place. Viva Bermuda, an enchanting place for sure.

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  27. Sharks: I’ve scuba dived for the last 15 years and encountered many 100’s of sharks in that time. Only once have I witnessed aggression towards humans, when three Bull sharks circled a diver and then attacked and bit him on the arm. This occurred at a depth of 30 metres, in the Solomon Islands in a place where locals told us there would be sharks. We evacuated back-to-back to the surface and the sharks disappeared.
    I have always been extremely cautious of sharks, especially in my first few years of diving. I have learned though, completely against my instinctual judgement, that if left alone sharks will generally ignore you. I have also learned to pay heed to local advice. If locals say there are sharks there, then there will be. If they say there aren’t any, then you just won’t see them.

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  28. Paradise lost. The few hotels that remain in business are overpriced, with high government taxes added to your bill. Crime is sky-rocketing and no-one is doing anything to stop it. Bermuda has one of the highest murder rates in the world. When I was there last year for Memorial Day weekend there were three separate shootings in the capital of Hamilton, which is tiny. Sharks are the least of Bermuda’s problems.

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  29. I am an American and have been to Bermuda twice. I Love it there. My father is a Bermudian and has taught me about the island. During my visits, I have spent a lot of time in the waters off Bermuda and have never encountered a shark. I did notice a difference in the people during my last visit. I encountered men begging for money on the street in Hamilton. That was sad to see. I would love to live and work there, but the laws in Bermuda won’t allow for that. It’s still a beautiful island.

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  30. I live in Bermuda and know the violence is a lot worse now, but you will never in a blue moon hear about people getting bitten by a shark.

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  31. I’ve been visiting Bermuda once or twice a year since the late 80’s. Has it changed? Yes – so have I. I’ve never met friendlier people anywhere. Get on the bus! Say Hello to someone. You’ll feel like family in no time.

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  32. I’m born and raised in Bermuda and it’s extremely safe. Yes there are sharks but
    sharks are everywhere and Bermudian people are super friendly.

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  33. I am a Bermudian and frankly I am appalled at the comment on the Rebecca murder case. This type of act is a daily occurrence in the U.S. and in Canada and if you were up on your news you would realize that the perpetrator was from Jamaica NOT Bermuda. Does crime exist? Duh! Where does it not? Do Bermudians for the most part take pride in their country and the tourists who visit our island? Just ask one.

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  34. I, like every other Bermudian on here have never even seen a shark that was intimidating. Just think before you act in the water.

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  35. I remember when 17 year old Canadian tourist Rebecca Middleton was brutally murdered there by locals and how the police there botched the case against the murderers. The murderers are walking free there so I would not be concerned about the sharks. Crime happens everywhere, but at least in America these guys would probably be facing life in jail or execution.

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  36. Since gang violence has been on the rise, it has ruined a family of someone dear to me. I’m appalled gang violence in Bermuda has increased. These people in gangs must have a conscience to realise who ever they kill or attack it is completely wrong and there is always a time to change or turn back before it’s too late. Gang violence in Bermuda does not need to occur, no excuse, however these gangs feel the need that they are invincible or the exception to Bermuda’s laws. They are wrong! I am possibly the ten thousandth Bermudian to say this. However this outrage to violence and shooting must come to an end in order for current issues in Bermuda to get better.

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  37. My family went on Princess Cruises this July and August and the first stop from NYC was Bermuda. We were impressed with the beauty of the island and the friendly people, especially our native tour guide who drove the Pink Elephant bus. The road was winding and narrow from Hamilton to St.Georges. The pink sand was awe inspiring. Wouldn’t mind going back for an extended vacation.

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  38. On 8/17/10 my daughter was on her moped coming from Hamilton to St. George’s around 12 noon. A young man with his shirt around his head and face, jumped off a hill in front of her and lunged at her. Thankfully, she has been riding a moped for years and did not panic and rode off. The police followed her back to the site and he young man was gone. This could have been a potential violent act.

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  39. I lived in Bermuda for over 15 years and that was back in the 90’s and early 2000. The crime on the island was fairly non-existent. It was mostly small crimes. Tourist feel safe on the island. From what I hear it there have been numerous gang-violence crimes in certain shady areas on the island.
    Bermudians are warm, friendly and a large percentage of the population is college educated from the US and Canada.
    Numerous places were extremely safe. i.e beaches, downtown and nightlife. The beaches are clean, sand (pink) and water crystal clear. The downtown area is pedestrian friendly with pricey shopping. Most of the nightlife is in the downtown and ends at 3 am. The age for drinking is 18 years old.
    Tourists ride the bus, cab-it or rent mopeds as a means of transportation. The speed limit is very slow (I believe 25mph) NO CAR RENTALS AVAILABLE ON THE ISLAND!
    All in all it is a great getaway from the US and warm beautiful weather and people. In addition, I hear cruises from the East coast US are an ideal way to travel to Bermuda.

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  40. I’ve just returned from Bermuda and I have to say it was the best holiday I’ve been on so far. It’s a really beautiful place, the weather was great, the people were friendly and really helpful and I’m dying to go back. The beaches were amazing and I didn’t want to leave the water. We never encountered any trouble, far from it – we were even invited out for drinks with a few of the locals. The Aquarium and Zoo are a must see, along with the Crystal Caves. We were given good advice before we arrived – make use of the weekly bus passes as they are really good value for money and extremely useful.

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  41. Tiger sharks (man eaters) have been caught off the waters of Spanish Point. I know, I grew up there. Back when they had whaling in Bermuda they would drag the whale carcasses into the Great Sound and slaughter them on small islands in the Harbour. The blood would attract man eating sharks. So shark attacks are not completely unheard of in Bermuda.

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  42. My visit to Bermuda has concluded. I was impressed with the Botanical Gardens and the South Shore Park on South Road. I was naive to think you can walk half hour distances in the rural areas, because there are often no sidewalks on the quite busy country roads. The buses ended up being the no-brainer solution, as they were very tourist friendly, they came every 15 minutes, and it was $20 for a two-day ticket, unlimited usage. I thought St. George was overrated. Saw two Man-of-Wars washed up on Elbow Beach, filled with their nice, blue toxin. Water was freezing. I saw a hamburger for $15 and a small sherbet float for $8. The nature-oriented areas were great, though.

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  43. We have been holidaying in Bermuda for many years. Things have changed a bit over the years but it is still the favourite vacation spot for our family. The people of Bermuda are wonderful and welcoming. The Island is Beautiful and the water is even more beautiful. If you ever wanted to swim in a fish tank that is what it feels like. The water is clear and the fish are absolutely breath taking.
    We have always felt safe and relaxed. All you have to do is go one time and you will be hooked!

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  44. ‘Back of Town’ is the area north of Hamilton centre. If you walked from King’s Wharf to St George you wouldn’t pass through Hamilton at all (see the maps section). It’s a long walk and would take you a full day at least.

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  45. Where exactly is this "Back of Town" that is to be avoided at the times specified? In Hamilton? What other areas would you say are even a little sketchy? Could I walk from King’s Wharf on the west side all the way to St. Georges on the east during the day without going through such areas? Thanks in advance.

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  46. Tiffany watch a movie called "Sharkwater" and you will realize your comments are just obscene.

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  47. I am a Bermudian and I can assure you that swimming in Bermuda’s water is very very safe. There’s no need to worry about sharks. The only thing I would caution against is rip tides and even that is nothing to worry about if you don’t go out to far into the water. As far as the gang activity is concerned, if you come from America and are going to Bermuda for vacation the gangs here are nothing in comparison and being in Bermuda is much much safer. Rest assured, enjoy your trip and relax. We are friendly people and you will be welcomed. Also in regards to theft, keep your belongings with you of course, but don’t wait around expecting to be mugged or something. It isn’t a rampant problem on the island. I hope this helped.

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  48. I grew up in Bermuda and now live in the Carolinas. I must say that gang violence has risen in the past few years but is mainly gang v gang, which is fine by me. Let the scum shoot each other off. About the sharks, I was on or in the water maybe 200 days a year; sailing, swimming, diving and yes spear fishing. I have never come across a shark over 2.5′. That doesn’t mean that they don’t exist bigger in Bermuda, but they are really not a threat and are way out at the edge of the reefs. I have gone spear fishing in the reefs day after day, shooting fish with blood in the water and NEVER has anything been by to investigate. I also know of many people who are in their 50s that have been spear fishing on the reefs their whole lives and nothing has been spotted. I have gone spear fishing in far worse places to get bit; Tampa FLA, Cape Hattaras, Miami. These places are a risky for accidental attack. Trust me, Bermuda is the safest tropical destination on earth to go swimming in.

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  49. I now live in the UK and grew up in Bermuda. I have been back twice in the last 12 years and have found it very different. It is a lot rougher and people seem to forget why people come there. Paradise and nice people, but the paradise is going and the people ain’t that friendly any more. Everyone needs to remember what is special about Bermuda that is no where else in the world – Bermudians.

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  50. I’ve been here my entire life and never seen a shark or been stung by a man-o-war. Stay out of the back of town and don’t go swimming at night.

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  51. You can’t live your life in fear so just play it safe by not swimming in deep waters at night. Don’t not swim for fear of sharks yet don’t just exclude them as a possible threat. Find a happy middle.

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  52. No one would suggest that petting a shark as one would pet a dog is a good idea but your chances of being bitten by the dog would be far greater than those of being bitten by the shark if you did.
    During my 42 years in Bermuda I have swum at midnight, windsurfed in the sound and swum to and among the reefs. I have never even seen a shark of an even remotely threatening size let alone been bitten by one.
    Sharks stay among and beyond the reefs as that is where the food is. They live to feed and we are not good eating.
    No visitor has ever been bitten by a shark as far as I know but a feral chicken got one a couple of years ago. I therefore suggest heading for the water if you see any chickens as they don’t swim.

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    • I 100% agree. I was staying at the bio station in Bermuda the night of her murder. I had walked up on the same road where they dragged her into the brush and cut her to ribbons. Alone that same day. Terrifying to learn that it could have BEEN ME. I saw ALL the blood on the road. THE NEXT DAY. I spoke to the firemen who were told to go hose all her blood off the road.
      Sickening. Shame on all of Bermuda.

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  53. I live in Bermuda and I used to live in the UK and believe me, I’ve never felt safer in my life. There are sharks here, but they never come to the beaches like in other countries. They live in the harbour between Hamilton and Somerset. That’s a really deep stretch of water that I would advise you not to swim in. As for the man of wars, they’re really quite noticeable, so don’t worry about them. So I’m saying don’t be afraid to go in the water just cos this website is telling you about sharks! It’s absolutely fine. Just don’t be silly about rip tides. Gang members here aren’t violent generally and there have been no incidents so far. They tend to be around Back of Town so just avoid that area at night if you want to play it safe. Bermuda is now one of the safest places on earth.

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  54. Tiffany, I am with you. Am not going in the Water in Bermuda . . .

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  55. Most sharks are harmless. There have been 4 unprovoked shark attacks in Bermuda in the last 18 years. No fatalities. Tiger sharks do show up there from time to time.

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  56. People become ignorant because the believe sharks are harmless. I am not suggesting we go on a shark hunting spree in order to make people more safe in the ocean, but what I am suggesting is that we lead people away from the misconception that sharks are harmless in order ensure the safety of both humans and sharks.

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  57. Tiffany and Bateman: You are both right. Sharks a far from harmless, but they are not interested in attacking humans. However, the misconception that sharks won’t attack you makes people do stupid things, like wade in shallow waters after dark, when sharks are feeding on the fish that have moved closer to shore for the night, or surfing in shark-active waters, which can cause sharks to mistake the surfer for a seal.
    So yes, they are dangerous, yes, you need to be careful when dealing with them, but no, they aren’t out to get you, and no, they aren’t going to attack unless you aggravate them or do something stupid.
    Very rarely do shark attacks occur where the victim was playing safe.

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  58. Tiffany, it is in fact your ignorance of the issues surrounding sharks that has made them one of the most endangered creatures on our planet.
    I’m not suggesting you should ever approach a shark in the wild, but you are statistically more likely to die from a coconut hitting your head than from a shark attack.

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  59. Sharks are not harmless, and it’s that exact thought that makes people ignorant to the real danger of these wild creatures.

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