‘We are guests in the Gulf’ sheriff warns after two shark attacks left two people critically injured

Published 11:53 am Saturday, June 8, 2024

A Florida beach was reopened Saturday to the public for swimming one day after two separate shark attacks injured three people, two critically, a sheriff’s office said.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office announced the beaches of the county were reopened Saturday morning, but advised

“We ask beachgoers to be aware of their surroundings and remember we are guests in the Gulf,” the sheriff’s office wrote on social media Saturday. “We want to reiterate that sharks are always present in the Gulf. Swimmers and beachgoers should be cautious when swimming and stay aware of their surroundings.”

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On Friday, officials closed the beaches after two shark attacks occurred in approximately 90 minutes.

The first attack, on a private beach in the Gulf left a woman severely injured, with one official saying she had lost a hand and had other critical injuries.

Approximately 90 minutes later two teenagers were injured — one critically – when they were attacked by a shark off an inlet beach.

Officials said they were still urging caution and would have a patrol boat in the water. Early Saturday, sheriff’s deputies patrolling reported seeing a hammerhead shark approximately 14 feet in length off Santa Rosa Beach.

Such sightings are not uncommon, officials said.