Woman has arm amputated after being bitten by shark in Florida

A woman had to have part of her arm amputated after being attacked in one of two shark attacks in Florida on Friday.

Both of the attacks occurred in Walton County, which borders the Gulf of Mexico in Florida's panhandle.

McKenzie McClintock, the South Walton Fire District Public Informations Officer, told reporters that officials currently do not know how far from land the attacks occurred. They do know that they did not occur near a boat.

According to officials, the incidents happened approximately 4 miles apart within a 90-minute span. Three people were hurt in the attacks, South Walton Fire District Chief Ryan Crawford said, per NBC News.

During an evening news briefing, he said it was "extremely unusual" for two shark bite incident to happen in the same afternoon.

In the first — around 1:20pm on Friday — a 45-year-old woman was severely injured while swimming with her husband just past the first sandbar.

Beaches were closed in Walton County, Florida after back-to-back shark attack incidents in June (stock image) (City of Del Mar)
Beaches were closed in Walton County, Florida after back-to-back shark attack incidents in June (stock image) (City of Del Mar)

"She received significant trauma to the midsection, the pelvic area, as well as amputation of her left lower arm," Mr Crawford said.

The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

After the first attack, the beaches in the area began flying double red flags to warn swimmers of the potential threat in the water.

However, around 2:56pm, sheriff's deputies and fire fighters were called to deal with another shark bite at the Sandy Shores Court area near Seacrest Beach.

Two people were injured in that incident, both teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 17.

The girls were swimming with friends "just inside the first sandbar" when the attack occurred. Crawford noted the first victims were also attacked near the sandbar.

One of the girls was seriously injured, with wounds to one upper and one lower extremity. She was rushed to a trauma center in critical condition. The second girl suffered less severe wounds to her right food. She was listed in stable condition, according to Crawford.

Officials said during a press briefing on Friday that they would re-assess the situation at the beach on Saturday, but offered no concrete information concerning when the beaches would be re-opened.

Shark bites are quite rare, and bites like these make headlines specifically because they are so uncommon.

According to the University of Florida's Shark Attack File, there were 59 unprovoked shark bites last year worldwide. Of those, 10 were fatal.