Beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured

Beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured

Two people were reportedly hospitalized with shark bites 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.

“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.

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.

Fernandina Beach’s Division of Ocean Rescue closed all beaches in the area Friday, with officials posting double-red flags at beach entrances.

“Water closed to public, due to potentially dangerous marine life,” signs outside the beaches read.

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.

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