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Florida beaches reopen Saturday after 2 shark attacks day before

By Mike Heuer
First responders carry a 45-year-old woman away from a Walton County, Fla. beach following the first of two shark attacks that injured three and closed local beaches Friday afternoon. Photo by Walton County Sheriff's Department
First responders carry a 45-year-old woman away from a Walton County, Fla. beach following the first of two shark attacks that injured three and closed local beaches Friday afternoon. Photo by Walton County Sheriff's Department

June 8 (UPI) -- Beaches in northwest Florida reopened Saturday morning after sharks injured three swimmers in separate attacks Friday afternoon.

Officials in Walton County changed flags from double-red to single-red and purple to indicate hazardous water conditions and the presence of potentially dangerous marine life Saturday morning.

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"Walton County Sheriff's Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife will have their boats in the Gulf to monitor the shoreline," sheriff's department spokesman Corey Dobridnia told local media.

Two shark attacks Friday afternoon injured two teenage girls and one woman.

A 45-year-old woman lost her lower left arm when attacked at 1:20 p.m. while swimming beyond the first sandbar at near Founders Land in Watersound Beach.

She was airlifted to HCA Fort Walton-Destin Hospital to treat her severe injuries.

The second attack occurred about 4 miles from the first attack at 2:56 p.m. along Seacrest Beach near Sandy Shores Court.

Two girls, ages 15 and 17, were with a group of their friends inside the first sandbar when attacked.

One girl has severe injuries to her lower and upper extremities and was airlifted to Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola.

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The second girl had flesh wounds to her lower-right extremity and was taken to Ascension Bay Medical Center in Panama City Beach,where she was in stable condition.

"We experienced two separate incidents earlier this afternoon in relative proximity to one another about 4 miles apart and within an hour and a half from one another," South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford told media during a Friday news conference.

The shark species weren't identified.

Walton County is located between Destin and Panama City Beach in the Florida Panhandle.

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