Area Shark Attack Kills Vacationing Teen

A 14-year-old girl from Louisiana was killed in south Walton County Saturday when she was attacked by an 11-foot bull shark.

The teenager and a friend were about 300 feet from shore in very calm waters when they noticed a big dark shadow in the water. The teens were apparently on boogie boards when one of them was attacked on the lower portion of her body.

The other girl made it safely to shore and a surfer helped the first girl out of the water. She was treated at the scene and then rushed to the nearby Sacred Heart Hospital where she died a few minutes later.

All 21 miles of South Walton County Beaches were closed. Double red flags and a purple flags were flying indication beaches were closed and dangerous sea life was present.

The teens were on vacation and were staying at the Gulf Holiday Travel Park. The mishap happened in the gulf just behind the RV facility. That’s not far from the Sandestin Beach resort in Miramar Beach.

It’s the first shark attack in this area in several years. The last one was a Mississippi boy who was attacked at Pensacola Beach. He survived after months of hospitalization. Before that was about 15 years ago when a Panama City man died at the jetties at St. Andrew State Park after he and a friend were attacked.

Ironically, it was 25 years ago Saturday when the beaches in nearby Okaloosa County were closed after a school of 12 sharks were spotted at a pier on Okaloosa Island. No one was attacked back then.