Fear of sharks? There's a band for that

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Sharks are often hard to see in the Lowcountry's murky waters, but they are there lurking just underneath the surface.

"Most shark attacks occur in murky water where the shark is just relying on its electrical sense to see what is around it, and occasionally they will come up to people and take a nip out of you to see what you are," said Sharkbanz co-founder and avid surfer Nathan Garrison.

Garrison grew up swimming and surfing on Folly Beach and other Lowcountry water spots with his father, David Garrison. Both active water sportsmen, they had a shared goal to take the fear factor of sharks out of their time in the ocean.

"After one particularly frightening day in the water, it was really spooky, I came in and said, 'Enough. It is time to do something about this,' and we started researching different technologies that were available," Garrison said.

After three years of research and design, the solution came in a rather simple form - Sharkbanz. It's a magnetic wrist band that wards off sharks. The father-son entrepreneur team invented the product with the help of shark repellent technology scientists from a company called Shark Defense.

"Sharks have the most sensitive electrical receptors in the animal kingdom. Sharkbanz puts off a field that really disrupts that electrical sense. It is really unpleasant for the shark, but it doesn't harm them, and it turns around and flees," Garrison said.

And both men would know. They've put their product to the test countless times. Even placing a Sharkbanz in the middle of chum and then swam with the sharks.

"The sharks do not like this product and they want to swim away very, very quickly and so we did testing with ourselves at stake with three or four sharks in the water," co-founder David Garrison said.

Sharkbanz can be worn on the wrist or ankle and is the size of a watch.

"Peace of mind is really the heart of what we are trying to give people," Garrison said.

The product also gives a portion of the profits back to sharks through donations to ocean conservation groups and anti-shark finning legislation.

For more information on Sharkbanz click here.

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