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Florida beaches are closed after two consecutive shark attacks

Miles of sugar-white sand beaches and turquoise waters were closed in Florida after two consecutive shark attacks.

The back-to-back shark attacks occurred “close together” Friday afternoon, according to a Walton County Sheriff’s Office news conference.

“We experienced two separate incidents earlier this afternoon, relatively close together, about four miles apart and within an hour and a half of each other,” South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford said.

Law enforcement did not specify which type of sharks were part of the attacks.


Law enforcement officers remove a shark attack victim from the beaches of Walton County, Florida, on June 7, 2024.

Law enforcement officers remove a shark attack victim from the beaches of Walton County, Florida, on June 7, 2024. (Walton County Sheriff)

Walton County Fire Rescue and South Walton Fire District responded at 1:20 Friday afternoon to reports that a 45-year-old woman was attacked by a shark while enjoying the popular tourist destination.

Authorities said the woman was swimming with her husband just past a sandbar when she was suddenly attacked.

She suffered “significant trauma to the midsection and pelvic region and amputation of her left forearm,” Crawford said.

The South Walton Fire District transported the victim by helicopter to a nearby trauma hospital. Authorities said she was in “critical condition.”

Bull shark swimming in water

There were approximately 70 to 80 unprovoked shark bites annually worldwide over the past decade, with only 57 unprovoked bites in 2022. (Getty Images)

At 2:56 p.m., the Walton County Sheriff’s Office announced they had responded to a second shark accident at Seacrest Creek beach.

According to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, two female teenagers, who were between the ages of 15 and 17, were attacked by a shark.


Crawford said that, as in the first attack, the victims swam along a sandbar in waist-deep water before they were attacked.

“Victim one suffered significant injuries to one lower and one upper extremity,” Crawford said. “Both (bites) required the application of tourniquets.”

She was flown to a trauma center in Pensacola, Florida, authorities said. She remains in “critical condition,” authorities say.

The second teenage victim suffered stab wounds to the foot and was transported by ambulance in stable condition, Crawford said.

Shark is seen during a shark dive in Florida

A shark swims through the water during an outing with dive company Emerald Charters at Jupiter Inlet, Florida, U.S., May 18, 2022. (REUTERS/Sam Wolfe)

Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson said the two victims have a “fighting chance” because of “continuity of care” by first responders.

“One of the important things to realize in these types of situations is continuity of care,” Adkinson said at the press conference. “This seamless operation between the folks at the South Walton Fire District and the deputies from Walton County Sheriffs Office and Walton Air Rescue.”

“I think these two ladies have a fighting chance because of their professionalism,” he added.

Inlet beach

A sand path to the beach at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

After the back-to-back shark attacks, Walton County closed several miles from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

“Double red flags are now flying at area beaches,” the Walton County Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post. “The Gulf is now closed to the public in Walton County in the local area of ​​the incident.”

Adkinson said they are in contact with shark experts in the area to discuss whether there is an anomaly in the attacks.

“We know we share the waters with sharks,” he said. “We understand that as tragic as this is, there are always sharks in these waters, and we need to be careful and aware of that.”


With 26 miles of beautiful beaches, Walton County is located on the northwestern Florida Panhandle along the Gulf of Mexico.

Popular beaches in Walton County include: Seagrove Beach, Rosemary Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Grayton Beach State Park, Inlet Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Miramar Beach, and others.