Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • Naples Daily News

    How likely is a shark attack near Naples, Fort Myers beaches? What to know

    By Kendall Little, Naples Daily News,


    After two Florida shark attacks in one day over the weekend, beachgoers have been on high alert.

    The two incidents resulted in three victims ― one of which needed an amputation.

    Are shark attacks a big risk in Naples? Here's what we know.

    Where in Florida were the shark attacks?

    The two shark attacks this weekend took place in Walton County between Miramar Beach and Panama City Beach.

    Walton County is located on the Emerald Coast in the Florida Panhandle.

    Two teenagers and a woman were injured in the shark attacks that happened less than two hours apart.

    What happened in the Walton County shark attacks?

    At about 1:20 p.m. Friday, a 45-year-old woman was swimming with her husband past the first sandbar near Founders Lane in Watersound Beach, west of Seacrest Beach when she was bitten.

    "She received significant trauma to the midsection and pelvic area," said South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Ryan Crawford at a press conference Friday, "as well as amputation of the left lower arm."

    About an hour and a half later, just before 3 p.m., two girls ages 15 and 17 were swimming with friends in waist-deep water near the Sandy Shores Court area of Seacrest Beach, about four miles east of the first bite. The girls were swimming just inside the first sandbar, Crawford said, in a similar proximity to the shoreline as the previous attack.

    "Victim one received significant injuries to one upper and one lower extremity," Crawford said. "Victim number two received what's been described as flesh wounds to the right lower extremity."

    Are shark attacks common?

    So far, there's been 20 shark attacks in 2024 ― seven of the 20 have been in the United States.

    Florida takes the lead with three so far this year.

    Last year, the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark File investigated 120 shark-human interactions across the globe.

    Of these incidents, 69 were unprovoked human bites and 22 were provoked.

    In 2023, there were 14 confirmed shark-related fatalities ― 10 of them were considered unprovoked. Two happened in the United States.

    Florida is the number one location for shark bites with 16 bites happening last year.

    What months are sharks most active in the Gulf of Mexico?

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say Florida sees the most sharks between April and October.

    September has the most frequent unprovoked shark attacks in Florida.

    What type of sharks are most common in Florida?

    • Bull shark
    • Great hammerhead shark
    • Spinner shark
    • Great white shark
    • Whale shark

    Are shark attacks common in Naples?

    The most common location for Florida shark bites is the East Coast between Jacksonville and Palm Beach County.

    Since 1882, here's the counties with the most shark attacks in Florida:

    1. Volusia County: 351
    2. Brevard County: 158
    3. Palm Beach County: 83
    4. St. Johns County: 45
    5. Duval County: 46
    6. Martin County: 41
    7. St. Lucie County: 39
    8. Indian River County: 22
    9. Monroe County: 21
    10. Miami-Dade County: 20

    Lee and Collier did not make the Top 10 list.

    Samantha Neely, Collin Bestor, Cheryl McCloud, C.A. Bridges, and Dan Rorabaugh contributed reporting to this story.

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0