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Ashland Mother Recuperating After Florida Shark Attack

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A mother of three remains hospitalized in Florida following a shark attack in Walton County.

On Friday afternoon, authorities responded to a report of a woman being injured by a shark in the water.

“We had a 45-year-old female patient, was reportedly swimming with her husband just past the first sandbar with her husband. She received significant trauma to the midsection and pelvic area as well as amputation to her left lower arm,” said Fire Chief Ryan Crawford, South Walton Fire District.

The injured woman has been identified as Elisabeth Foley. Foley and her husband, residents of Ashland, were vacationing in Florida at the time of the attack.

“And we just started hearing, like, a bunch of emergency vehicles coming right past us and me and my friend, we were running behind them. And we got to the scene and there’s. It was like blood. It was definitely surprising and a little heart-stopping because you don’t want that to happen to anyone,” said Charlie Smith, who saw first shark attack victim on the beach.

Foley is one of three individuals injured in two separate shark attacks at neighboring Florida beaches within 90 minutes of each other.

In the other attack, two teenage girls sustained injuries. One girl suffered significant wounds to her upper leg and hand, while the other girl had minor injuries on her foot.

As a result of the attacks, the beaches were temporarily closed. Despite these incidents, shark attacks on humans are statistically rare.

“It is rare, exceedingly rare to have three victims in one day. We understand that. But we need to make sure that we’re also using good judgment and very prudent, you know? This is not something where you shut beaches down for a week because this happened,” said Sheriff Mike Atkinson, Walton County, Florida.

Foley’s church, Winn’s Baptist, has initiated an online fundraiser aiming to raise $40,000 to assist with medical and logistical expenses.

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