Several Injured Along Florida & Texas Beaches from Shark Attacks on the Fourth of July

By: May Man Published: Jul 06, 2024

During the Independence Day celebrations, multiple people were injured in shark attacks on South Padre Island, Texas, and another individual was bitten in Florida.

On South Padre Island, a beach town on a barrier island of the same name, beachgoers on July 4th were shocked when four people encountered a shark, resulting in at least two being bitten.

Multiple Victims

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reported that two victims were transported to Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, with one requiring further treatment at another facility.

A great white shark swimming in the ocean

Source: Elias Levy/Flickr

The other two individuals encountered the shark but were not seriously injured.

Could be the Same Shark

Officials believe the same six-foot-long shark was responsible for the attacks.

Selective Photo of Gray Shark


Texas game warden captain Chris Dowdy confirmed this information to KSAT. Fire chief Jim Pigg of the South Padre Island Fire Department stated that three of the victims were hospitalized while a fourth received on-site treatment for minor injuries, according to CNN.


Pigg noted, “The shark involved in the attacks was located at the south end of the island and was pushed out to deeper water. It’s unprecedented here on South Padre Island.”

A photograph of an empty beach as the sun sets

Source: Freepik

City spokesperson Nikki Soto told NBC News that police responded to a 911 call at 11 am reporting a severe shark bite to a man’s leg. He was taken to a local hospital.

911 Calls

The first call reported one person bitten and another with minor injuries. A second call later reported another shark bite attack, resulting in two more hospitalizations.

A phone with a red screen that says “911 Emergency”

Source: Freepik

An eyewitness, Kyle Jud, told NBC he saw a woman being pulled from the water with a severe leg injury. “Beach patrol lifted her up – her calf was just gone, shredded. Horrific,” Jud recounted.


Two off-duty Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector reported on social media that they rescued one of the shark attack victims and provided lifesaving aid.

Shark fin breaching sea surface

Source: Wirestock/Freepik

Nereyda Bazaldua informed CNN that her 18-year-old daughter, Victoria, was among the injured. Victoria and her sister were in shallow water when they began screaming “Shark!”


Minor Injuries

Victoria emerged with blood on her leg, but her injuries were minor.

The back section of an ambulance is in view, featuring the word 'AMBULANCE' in reverse lettering with 'PARAMEDICS' written above it. The vehicle is adorned with red and white emergency lights, orange and blue reflective stripes, and a blue medical emblem

Source: Erik Mclean/Unsplash

Bazaldua explained, “The shark pushed into her, five to six of his teeth scratched her leg. The wounds aren’t deep. We never saw the shark ‘til he was right there with them.”


Lifeguard’s Advice

Lifeguards on South Padre Island have been advising people to stay out of the water or to go no deeper than knee-high.

Empty beach in southern California

Source: Freepik

Authorities also patrol the coastline using drones to watch for sharks, Soto added.


Met by Shark

Meanwhile, in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, an Ohio tourist was bitten on his right foot by a shark while playing football in knee-deep water on the Fourth of July.

A close-up photograph of crystal clear and clean water on the sand

Source: Freepik

The 21-year-old man was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.


Hot Spot for Sharks

Kristin Mazza, a witness, told Fox 35, “He had a pretty bad cut, but it was looking like it was not life-threatening – thank God. [He had a] gash to the foot, lots of blood.”

New Smyrna Beach

Source: Wikimedia

New Smyrna Beach, located in Volusia County, has recorded the highest number of shark bites in Florida, with eight bites accounting for 50 percent of the state’s total.


Shark Capital

The attacks make Florida 2023’s shark attack capital of the world, according to the International Shark Attack File for 2023.

An aerial view of St. Augustine, Florida seen during the daytime.

Source: Lance Asper/Unsplash

The file documented 120 alleged shark-human interactions worldwide last year, with 69 being unprovoked.


U.S. Records Most Incidents

The United States had the most incidents, with 36 cases, 16 of which occurred in Florida.

Map of the United States on a globe with a small American flag laid on top

Source: Freepik

These incidents follow another recent attack where a man in his 40s, while fishing on a boat, suffered a severe shark bite to his right forearm and was left in critical condition.