The woman and two girls were injured at the beach

Via Francesca Gillett, BBC news

South Walton Fire District A walkway beach where a crowd of lifeguards were surrounding a person being carried on a stretcherSouth Walton Fire District

The local fire department shared images of the aftermath of the attack

Beachgoers on Florida’s Gulf Coast have been asked to be vigilant after three swimmers were attacked by sharks in two separate attacks.

A woman reportedly had part of her arm amputated after being bitten Friday in Walton County, northwest Florida.

Less than two hours later, at another beach four miles east, two teenage girls were in waist-deep water with friends when they were attacked.

Fire officials said one of the girls suffered “serious injuries to her upper leg and one arm” while the other suffered minor injuries to one leg.

Authorities patrolled the coast by boat and some beaches were closed, although they reopened on Saturday with purple flags warning of dangerous marine life.

The first incident occurred at about 1:20 p.m. local time on Friday when a woman, about 45 years old, was attacked near WaterSound Beach, the South Walton Fire Department said.

Fire officials said she suffered “serious injuries” to her hip and lower left arm and was airlifted to the hospital.

According to CBS News, the BBC’s partner in the US, part of her arm had to be amputated.

South Walton Fire District A crowd moved people toward the rescue helicopter that had landed on the lawnSouth Walton Fire District

Fire officials said the 45-year-old woman who was swimming was taken by helicopter to a trauma center.

The second attack – targeting two girls around 15 years old – occurred at around 14:55 local time near Seacrest Beach, the fire department added.

“Swim carefully, respect the Gulf, stay hydrated and take care of your loved ones,” the South Walton Fire Department said on X.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office said on that they are “not rare”.

“We want to reiterate that sharks are always present in the Gulf,” they said.

“Swimmers and beachgoers should exercise caution when swimming and be aware of their surroundings.”

According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, There are approximately 70 to 100 shark attacks each year worldwide, resulting in approximately 5 deaths.

ISAF said last year there were 69 unprovoked shark bites and 22 provocations globally.

In Florida, The majority of shark attacks are caused by requiem sharks – a family of sharks that prefer warm waters and include species such as bull sharks or black tip sharks.

Sheriff Walton Co Image of sheriff's car parked in the sandSheriff Walton Co

The sheriff’s office said marine experts are monitoring the coast

Most attacks occur in inshore waters, often near sandbars where sharks feed and can become trapped at low tide.

This time of year, small schools of fish are swimming in schools near the shoreline, which may have been a contributing factor in Friday’s attacks, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office said.

Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson said the timing of the attacks – mid-afternoon – was also unusual.

Sheriff Walton Co Image of a hammerhead shark spotted from the side of the sheriff's office boatSheriff Walton Co

A 14ft long hammerhead shark has been spotted by sheriffs – although it has not been confirmed what type of shark attacked the swimmers


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