3 People Attacked By Sharks In A Single Day, In Florida

Three people were injured in two separate shark attacks just a few miles apart along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Friday, including one woman who lost part of her arm, authorities said.

The first attack occurred at around 1:20 p.m. when a 45-year-old woman was swimming past the first sandbar near Watersound Beach in Walton County, according to the South Walton Fire District. The woman was bitten and sustained critical injuries to her hip and left arm, and bystanders rendered aid until SWFD lifeguards and Walton county Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived.

The woman was airlifted by Walton Air Rescue to a local trauma center. Fire Chief Ryan Crawford said at a press conference Friday that she had to have her lower arm amputated as a result of her injuries.

The second shark attack took place just four miles away near Seacrest Beach at around 2:55 p.m. Two teen girls, described as approximately 15 years old, were in waist-deep water with a group of friends when the attack occurred.

Responding lifeguards and deputies arrived to find one of the girls had “significant injuries” to her hand and upper leg, while the other girl sustained “minor” injuries on one foot.

The girl with more significant injuries was airlifted to a local trauma center, while SWFD transported the second patient to the hospital.

The water was closed Friday after the attacks, with red and purple flags flying at local beaches, with red indicating high hazard and purple indicating dangerous marine life.

Walton County Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. told reporters that the last shark attack in the county occurred in 2021, and the last fatal attack was in 2005. He said Friday’s attacks were highly unusual.

“This is an anomaly … everything from it being three victims, to where it’s at,” Adkinson said. “All we can do is respond, control, and mitigate what we can.”

While the beaches remained closed on Saturday, sheriff’s deputies and wildlife officers patrolled the shoreline to search for sharks.

“Deputies spotted a 14-foot hammerhead east of South County Highway 395 in Santa Rosa Beach this morning from the boat – which is NOT uncommon,” the sheriff’s office said Saturday. “We want to reiterate that sharks are always present in the Gulf. Swimmers and beachgoers should be cautious when swimming and be aware of their surroundings at all times.”

Story via TMX

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