Florida beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured
Two people were hospitalized after being attacked by sharks Friday afternoon while swimming in waters near Sadler Road in Fernandina Beach, Florida.
The Fernandina Beach Fire Department arrived at the scene three minutes after getting reports about the alleged shark attack. Minutes later, officials were alerted to an additional shark-related injury, Fox News reports.
“Both patients are reportedly stable, with non-life-threatening injuries. Neither patient could advise what type or size of marine life had caused their respective injuries,” the City of Fernandina Beach Government said in a statement on Facebook Friday evening.
At approximately 15:35 on July 13th, 2018, Fernandina Beach Fire Department: Division of Ocean Rescue personnel reported an alleged shark bite incident at 2002 S Fletcher Ave/Beach Access #20/Seaside Park. Fernandina Beach Fire Department personnel were dispatched at 15:40 and were on scene within three minutes.
While on scene, at 15:38, report of an additional alleged shark bite incident was received at 3199 S Fletcher Avenue/Beach Access #31. Fernandina Beach Fire Department personnel were dispatched at 15:40 and on scene within five minutes.
Both patients are reportedly stable, with non-life-threatening injuries. Neither patient could advise what type or size of marine life had caused their respective injuries.
The Division of Ocean Rescue is continuing to monitor beaches for any presence of dangerous marine life. Double-red flags are currently being flown at all guarded beaches, and water is closed to the public until further notice.
According to WJTX, a 30-year-old man and 17-year-old were injured by sharks. The man, who had been surfing, said a nearly 4-foot nurse shark bit him as he attempted to kick it out of the way while heading back to shore, the news station reports. The teen was reportedly bitten in waters about a mile away from the first incident.
“Water closed to public, due to potentially dangerous marine life,” signs outside the beaches read.
Per FBFD’s Division of Ocean Rescue:
Posted by Fernandina Beach Fire Department on Friday, July 13, 2018
Officials with the Division of Ocean Rescue are investigating the reported incidents and plan to patrol the area before reopening the beaches.
Florida is no stranger to shark sightings. There were 32 reported shark attacks in the state in 2016, according to the Florida Museum International Shark Attack File‘s latest report. From 2007 to 2016, there was a total of 243 attacks — including one fatality.
I used to surf at least a couple times a week and never encountered any sharks, thank God.
But I did have encounters with dolphins which was quite amazing.
We wish for the best for these people and pray for for a full, speedy recovery.