Woman, teens injured in 2 Florida shark attacks on the same day

Three people were injured in two separate shark attacks in Walton County, on the Florida panhandle, Friday afternoon, prompting authorities to temporarily close the area for swimmers.

The incidents occurred at two neighboring beaches and within 90 minutes of each other, according to South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford.

Around 1:20 p.m., a 45-year-old woman was “reportedly swimming just past the first sandbar with her husband” near WaterSound Beach when she was attacked by a shark, Crawford said Friday in a news conference.

She received “significant trauma to her midsection and pelvic area as well as amputation of her left lower arm.”

Lifeguards and deputies responded immediately and initiated care on the beach. She was later airlifted to a medical center, where she was listed in critical condition.

The second incident occurred just before 3 p.m. at the Sandy Shores Court area of Seacrest Beach, about 4 miles east of the first location.

Two teenage girls, believed to be between 15 and 17, were with a group of friends inside the first sandbar in waist-deep waters when they were attacked.

One victim received “significant injuries to one upper and one lower extremity” and was transported to a local trauma center in critical condition.

The other teenager had minor injuries on her right foot. She was transported to a medical center in stable condition, Crawford said.

The attacks led the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the South Walton Fire District to temporarily close some beaches in the county.

“We are encouraging beachgoers to be cognizant that lifeguards and beach deputies may be trying to keep people out of the water in the immediate area,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Double red flags, which warn the public of dangerous conditions and close beach waters for swimming, are now flying on the beaches in the surrounding area. Anyone entering the ocean is subject to a $500 fine.