“Shark Attacks Injure Three, Prompt Walton County Beach Closures”

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TL/DR –

Two shark attacks happened at Walton County beaches in Florida, critically injuring two people and prompting the closure of the beaches. The first attack occurred just after 1:15 p.m. on a 45-year-old woman who lost her lower left arm and suffered midsection injuries, while the second attack occurred around 2:56 p.m., injuring two teenagers. According to trackingsharks.com, these were the first three shark-related incidents in Florida in 2024.


Walton County Beaches Closed Following Shark Attacks

Walton County beaches were closed on Friday afternoon due to two shark attacks that critically injured two individuals and harmed a third.

The attacks were reported near Watersound Way and Coopersmith Lane, with the first victim, a 45-year-old woman, being transported to a local medical facility. She had lost her lower left arm and suffered injuries to her midsection.

Catch the details about these shark attacks at the live press conference here.

Double-red flags now fly on nearby beaches, signaling the closure of the Gulf of Mexico waters. Violators will be fined $500. Following the shark attack incidents, all Walton County beaches, as well as neighboring Bay County beaches, were closed.

According to trackingsharks.com, these are the first shark-related incidents in Florida in 2024.

2023 Shark Attack Data

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File confirmed 69 unprovoked shark bites on humans among 120 reported shark-human interactions worldwide in 2023. Out of 14 confirmed shark-related fatalities, 10 were unprovoked, and two occurred in the United States.

The United States recorded the highest number of unprovoked shark bites in 2023, with 36 confirmed cases. Florida had the highest number of shark bites in the country with 16, none of which were fatal.

Most people were engaged in surfing/board sports (42%) or swimming/wading (39%) when bitten by a shark.

Florida’s East Coast and Shark Attacks

The majority of shark bites in Florida occur along the state’s East Coast, particularly between Jacksonville and Palm Beach County. There have been no reported shark bites in the Big Bend area.

Historical Shark Attack Data

According to the International Shark Attack File, Volusia County has had the highest number of confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in Florida from 1882 to the present, with 351 incidents.

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