Shark Attacks Strike Three Swimmers Off Florida Panhandle

Shark Attacks Strike Three Swimmers Off Florida Panhandle

At beaches in Walton County, Florida, on Friday, three swimmers—two of whom were teenagers—were attacked by sharks in two different incidents, according to the police.

Around 1:20 p.m., South Walton Fire District Chief Ryan Crawford informed reporters that a 45-year-old lady was bitten by a shark while swimming near a sandbar at Watersound Beach with her spouse.

A portion of the woman’s left arm had to be amputated after she suffered “significant trauma” to her torso, according to Crawford. In critical condition, she was sent to HCA Fort Walton-Destin Hospital.

A 90-minute period later, in the vicinity of Seacrest Beach, about four miles away from Watersound Beach, two girls, ages 15 and 17, were near the first sandbar in waist-deep water with some companions when they sustained injuries from a shark, as per Crawford’s account.

According to Crawford, one victim of a shark bite had “severe injuries” and was sent in critical condition to Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola Hospital.

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The second victim had flesh wounds on her foot and was sent in stable condition to Ascension Bay Medical Center.

Following the initial incident, officials issued an order to close beaches, but Walton County Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. informed reporters that the order was not fully implemented in time to prevent the teens from being attacked.

Additionally, according to authorities, it would have taken almost an hour and a half to replace all of the beach warning flags along the shoreline.

According to Sheriff Adkinson Jr., there haven’t been any shark attacks in the county since 2021, and the last shark-related death occurred in 2005.

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

Sheriff Adkinson Jr. stated that in order to assist with the incident’s investigation, Walton County authorities had contacted Mote Marine’s ocean wildlife specialists in Pensacola, Florida.


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