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Shark attacks force some Florida beaches to close to swimmers

todayJune 7, 2024 3

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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. – Shark encounters along a Florida beach on Friday forced authorities to close waters to swimmers and sent at least three people to hospitals.The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said the incidents occurred north of Panama City Beach around what are known as Watersound and Seacrest beaches in the Florida Panhandle.Officials said the injuries of the victims ranged from non-lifethreatening to critical, but all were fortunate to receive quick care from first responders and fellow beachgoers.The first incident occurred around 1:20 p.m. local time, when a woman was swimming with her husband and received life-threatening bites from a shark.Due to her injures, emergency crews said the victim was airlifted to a medical center, where she was last reported to be in critical condition.About an hour and a half after the first attack, authorities said they were alerted to a second incident about 4 miles away which involved a group of teenagers.First responders said two teens suffered various injuries consistent with a shark attack in waist-deep water.One of the teenage girls was transported to a trauma center in Pensacola and the other was ground transported to a nearby hospital.WHERE DO MOST SHARK ATTACKS HAPPEN IN THE US?Authorities have contacted marine life experts to determine if there are abnormalities in the attacks or whether swimmers were just in the right place at the wrong time.Double red flags are now flying along the county’s beaches, which means the Gulf of Mexico is closed to swimmers.”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.Data from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File shows shark attacks are fairly rare along the Florida Panhandle with only around a dozen cases reported during the last 142 years.The sheriff’s office said they recall at least two previous incidents involving sharks in Walton County. In 2005, a teen was on a boogie board when she was attacked and ultimately passed away from her injuries and, in 2021, a 14-year-old male was attacked while swimming and survived.US NAMED SHARK ATTACK CAPITAL OF THE WORLD IN 2023The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says swimmers and surfers should always avoid being in the water during twilight hours when sharks are most active.Beachgoers are always advised not to enter the water if they have an open wound or are wearing shiny jewelry – both can attract sharks due to their acute senses.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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