Shark Attacks Lead to Beach Closures Across the Country

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A number of shark attacks have led to beach closures in Florida and California.

Florida’s Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson Jr. reported that his office was aware of two clashes with sharks on Friday alone. In one case, a woman was attacked and sought medical treatment. The other case involved a teenager later in the day.

As a result, the office announced the water was closed to the public across the county. Walton County has some 26 miles of beach. Sheriff’s deputies monitored the nearby ocean via boat on Saturday.

“Deputies spotted a 14-foot hammerhead east of South County Highway 395 in Santa Rosa Beach this morning from the boat – which is NOT uncommon,” the office wrote on Facebook. “We want to reiterate that sharks are always present in the Gulf. Swimmers and beachgoers should be cautious when swimming and be aware of their surroundings at all times.”

California’s Del Mar beach reopened after a man was attacked by a shark earlier in the week. While he was taken to a nearby hospital due to wounds in his arm and torso, the beach closed for some 48 hours afterwards.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, swimmers can prevent shark attacks by staying in a group, staying close to the shore, and not enticing sharks with open bleeding or shiny jewelry. Excess splashing and erratic movements will only draw attention from sharks.

Last year, there were 36 unprovoked shark bites reported in the U.S., according to the Florida Museum of Natural History and two were fatal. Florida reported 16 attacks and California reported two, one of them including the fatal attack.

Jenny Goldsberry
Jenny Goldsberry
Jenny Goldsberry covers social media and trending news. She’s a 2020 Brigham Young University graduate with a major in communications and minor in Japanese. She was born in Utah and has previous newsroom experience at the Salt Lake Tribune and Utah’s NPR station.

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