ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Following a reported shark sighting Wednesday and recent shark bite on the Isle of Palms (IOP), beach communities are reminding visitors to respect the environment while enjoying the beach.

Both IOP and neighboring Sullivan’s Island urged beachgoers to “exercise caution” and respect the natural ocean habitat.

“The ocean is home to a diverse range of marine life such as jellyfish, Portuguese Man-O’War, stingrays, and sharks to name a few that can inadvertently cause harm to swimmers,” Sullivan’s Island’s press release reads. “Visitors are reminded to respect their habitat and exercise caution when necessary.”

Both communities say that shark sightings in the area are rare, but offer tips for the best ways to avoid encounters. Swimmers are encouraged to stay alert, avoid swimming alone, and stay out of the water around dusk and dawn.

Shark sightings should be reported to local law enforcement agencies or first responders on the beach.