Great white shark
Two shark attacks on swimmers in the Florida Panhandle -- both in Walton County -- on Friday left a woman and teenage girl in critical condition and a third teen injured.

The two attacks were about four miles apart in a span of about 90 minutes. It was not clear what type of shark attacked the three victims.

The first, according to the Walton County Sheriff's Office, involved a woman near Watersound, a private beach. Officials were notified of the attack just after 1:20 p.m.

South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford said a 45-year-old woman was swimming with her husband when she lost her left hand in the attack and suffered "significant trauma" to her midsection and pelvis. She is in critical condition.

The sheriff's office said deputies and firefighters responded to the scene and the woman was transported to an area hospital by the fire department.

Double red flags were posted in the area of the attack, closing the water to the public.

At 2;56 p.m., however, the sheriff's office responded to "multiple reports" of a second attack, this one involving two teenagers in the area of Shoreline Drive. Again, the sheriff's office and fire district personnel responded to the scene.

Although the beaches were closed to swimmers, Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson said the second attack occurred "prior to us even being able to get that enacted."

The two teens, between the ages of 15 and 17, were swimming in waist deep water when they were attacked, Crawford said.

One suffered serious injuries to an upper and lower extremity and needed tourniquets, Crawford said. She is in critical condition.

The other teen received flesh wounds to her right foot.

Adkinson said people who were in the medical field were at the scene of the first attack and immediately rendered aid.

Just after 8 p.m. Friday, the Panama City Beach Police Department reported double red flags have been were posted on Bay County beaches and will remain up for the rest of the night, prohibiting water entry.

Authorities said such attacks in Walton County are rare.

In June 2005, a 14-year-old girl from Louisiana on a boogie board 250 yards from shore was pulled under by a shark and bit in the legs and died as a result, the sheriff's office said.

In June 2021, a 14-year-old boy was swimming near fishing line 40 yards from the shore in Grayton State Park was bit in the chest area and survived.

Adkinson said they have reached out to marine experts to see if there was anything "anomalous" about the attacks.

"We know we share the water with sharks. We understand as tragic as this is they are always in the water, we have to be careful," the sheriff said.

"It's exceedingly rare to have three victims in one day," Adkinson said. "This is not something were you shut beaches down for a week because, quite frankly, you can be back in the water and no incidents for 30 years."