Florida shark attacks: Three people injured in two separate shark attacks in Walton County Friday

Walton County Sheriff’s Office

First responders pull an injured woman from the beach after she was bitten by a shark in Walton County, Florida, on Friday.


Three people were injured Friday in two shark attacks just 90 minutes apart on nearby beaches in Walton County, Florida, authorities said.

The attacks occurred about four miles apart and left two people in critical condition and a third in stable condition, South Walton District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford said Friday. of a joint press conference.

Shortly after 1:15 p.m., authorities responded to a report of a woman injured by a shark in the water near Watersound Way and Coopersmith Lane, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

A 45-year-old woman was “swimming just past the first sandbar with her husband” near WaterSound Beach, Crawford said at the news conference.

The woman, who is in critical condition, suffered significant trauma to her midsection and pelvic area and her left forearm was amputated, according to Crawford. The woman was flown to a local trauma center for treatment.

The second attack took place in the Sandy Shores Court area of ​​Seacrest Beach around 2:55 p.m., four miles east of the first incident. Two girls aged approximately 15 to 17 were in waist-deep water with a group of friends just inside the first sandbar when the incident occurred, according to firefighters.

One of the teenagers was seriously injured in the leg and one hand, and the other was slightly injured in one foot, according to firefighters.

As a result of these incidents, beach flags were changed to double red on Friday to indicate that the water was closed to swimming.

“Double red flags are now flying on nearby beaches. The Gulf is now closed to the public in Walton County, in the localized area of ​​the incident,” the sheriff’s office said in its message at the time. “We encourage beachgoers to be aware that lifeguards and beach deputies may attempt to keep people out of the water in the immediate area.”

Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson said at the news conference that authorities were talking with experts to see if there was “anything unusual.”

“We don’t think that’s the case, but we certainly want to be diligent,” he said. “We know we share the water with sharks, we understand that, as tragic as it is, there will always be sharks.”

The last two shark incidents in the area were reported in 2021 and 2005, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.

In the most recent attack, in June 2021, a 14-year-old boy survived after being bitten in the chest while swimming near a fishing line 40 yards from shore in the state park from Grayton. Another attack was fatal: in June 2005, a 14-year-old Louisiana girl was on a bodyboard 250 meters from the shore when she was dragged by the shark and bitten on the legs.

Although the risk of being bitten by a shark is extremely low, Florida tops the world charts for the number of shark bites, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s annual shark attack report.

In 2023, there were 16 reported incidents of unprovoked shark bites in Florida, representing 44% of the total in the United States and 23% worldwide. Volusia County recorded the highest number of shark bites, and the others were reported in Brevard, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Escambia and Pinellas counties. No deaths were reported last year in the state as a result of these attacks.

Leave a Comment