Popular Florida beach closes after woman loses part of her arm, teens injured in back-to-back shark attacks

A series of shark bites Friday has prompted the closure of a popular Florida beach vacation destination in Walton County, fire officials said Friday. 

The shark bites reportedly happened about four miles apart, about an hour and a half of each other. The first incident happened around 1:20 p.m. near Founders Lane and Watersound Beach.

A 45-year-old woman was reportedly swimming past a sandbar with her husband and was attacked by a shark, suffering injuries to her midsection and an amputation of her left lower arm. The woman was transported by air to a local hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. 

The second incident happened at 2:56 p.m. at Sandy Shores Court in the area of Seacrest Beach, just east of the first shark bite. Two teenagers were injured in the attack. The teens were with a group of friends inside a sandbar at about waist-deep water. 


One teen suffered injuries to one upper and one lower extremity and was transported by air to a local hospital. The second teen suffered flesh wounds to her right foot and is in stable condition. 

During a press conference, the Walton County Sheriff said citizens at the scene helped with rendering aid to the victims after the attack. 

Officials said it is highly unusual for these types of shark attacks to happen so close together. 

The beach is closed within several miles of the shark attacks. 

Walton County is located on the Emerald Coast in the northwestern part of Florida – also known as the panhandle.