close
close
Four injured in July 4 shark attack on Florida beach

Four injured in July 4 shark attack on Florida beach

Four injured in July 4 shark attack on Florida beach

Several people were injured in shark attacks on South Padre Island in Texas during the Independence Day holiday.

Beachgoers flocking to the shores of South Padre Island, a coastal town on a barrier island of the same name, on July 4 were in for a horrifying surprise after four people encountered a shark and at least two were bitten in the attacks.

Two of the four victims were bitten by the shark and were transported to Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, where one is being treated and the other was airlifted for further treatment, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said in a news release.

Authorities said the other two encountered the shark but were not seriously injured.

The July 4 attacks on South Padre Island are believed to have been the work of the same shark, said Texas Ranger Capt. Chris Dowdy. Physical Fitness Test (KSAT) reports.

In a separate statement, Fire Chief Jim Pigg of the South Padre Island Fire Department said three of the victims were hospitalized and a fourth was treated at the scene for minor injuries. CNN State.

The U.S. Border Patrol's Laredo Sector assisted a victim of a shark attack in South Padre Beach on July 4
The U.S. Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector assisted a victim of a shark attack in South Padre Beach on July 4 (U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector)

Pigg added that the shark involved in the attacks “was located at the southern end of the island and was pushed into deeper waters.”

“This is unprecedented here on South Padre Island,” he added.

Police responded to a 911 call at 11 a.m. reporting that a man had suffered “a severe shark bite to the leg,” city spokeswoman Nikki Soto said, according to NBC News, and the victim was transported to a local hospital.

Pigg added that the first call involved one person who had been bitten and another person with minor injuries who did not need emergency care, the outlet reported.

A second 911 call was made that same day reporting another shark bite, and two of them were subsequently taken to the hospital, Pigg said.

Two off-duty U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector agents assisted a shark attack victim in South Padre Beach
Two off-duty U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector agents assisted a shark attack victim in South Padre Beach (U.S. Border Patrol Laredo Sector)

A witness to the shark chaos on July 4 said: NBC who saw a woman being pulled out of the water and who appeared to have a bite wound on her leg.

“The beach patrol picked her up, her calf was gone, torn apart. It was horrible,” said Kyle Jud, 46.

Two off-duty agents from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector also said on social media that they pulled one of the shark attack victims from the water and provided life-saving aid.

Pigg reportedly added that lifeguards were encouraging people on South Padre Island to stay out of the water or at least not go in deeper than their knees.

Even though four people encountered the shark on Thursday, Parks and Wildlife officials said shark encounters of this nature are not common in Texas and when bites do occur they are usually a case of mistaken identity by sharks looking for food.

“If you see large schools of baitfish near the shore, this is usually an indicator that a predator is nearby, or if you see a shark in the water, calmly exit the water and wait for the predatory wildlife to pass by,” Parks and Wildlife officials said.

A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter flying over South Padre Island spotted a shark in the waters following the Independence Day attacks.
A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter flying over South Padre Island spotted a shark in the waters following the Independence Day attacks. (Texas Department of Public Safety)

Pigg said authorities are currently unclear as to what type of shark was involved in the attack, but an investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, a tourist from Ohio was also bitten on his right foot by a shark while playing soccer in knee-deep water on July 4, according to local reports.

The man was taken to hospital for treatment but is believed to have suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

New Smyrna Beach is located in Volusia County, which had the most shark bites in Florida with eight, accounting for 50 percent of the state’s total, making it the 2023 shark attack capital of the world, according to the 2023 International Shark Attack File.

The archive investigated 120 suspected interactions between sharks and humans around the world last year and found that 69 were unprovoked.

The United States ranked first as the country where the most interactions occurred, with 36 cases representing 52 percent of the global total.

Florida was the scene of 16 of the 36 unprovoked attacks in the United States last year.