Florida beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured

Florida beaches closed after shark attacks leave 2 injured”

Two people are in stable condition after being bitten by a shark in northern Florida.

Fernandina Beach Fire Department ordered people out of the water due to potential risky marine life. "Ocean Rescue will remain on high alert and will continue monitoring the water", the city said on its Twitter page Saturday - which just happened to be Shark Awareness Day.

The second attack, on a 17-year-old swimmer, took place close to a mile from the first shark attack, WJTX reported.

Their injuries weren't considered life-threatening.

Authorities do not yet know if the same shark was responsible for both attacks.

"I was in 2 feet of water or less, laying on my stomach watching (my 8-year-old son) just playing in the surf and I felt something grab onto my foot and pull", he said. He reached back to feel what he now believes to a be a nurse shark or a blacktip shark, judging from the gouges it left in his foot.

"He yelled, he like went down and he started hopping and he looked over at me and goes, 'I got bit, I got bit, ' he started motioning toward the beach", eyewitness Tia Walker told WJXX of the 30-year-old, who was bit first. "I put my hand on his head - he was probably 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters) - and when I did that, he shook twice and when I did that he released and left".

Double red flags are now being flown at all guarded beaches, and water is closed to the public until further notice. It was not clear whether one or two sharks were involved in the incidents. There were 243 attacks between 2007 and 2016 that included one death.

Shark sightings in Florida are regular and there were 32 reported attacks in 2016.

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