'A bit unusual:' Shark expert weighs in on the Panhandle's 3 attacks on the same day

While living by the water comes with its perks, there's always the chance of sharks lurking in the gulf. Just last week, three people were injured in separate shark attacks in the Panhandle.

Friday in Walton County, three people, including two teens, were attacked by sharks in two separate incidents four miles apart, all within a span of 90 minutes.

"Typically, what happens is a shark will come along and be, perhaps, feeding on little bait fish and might mistake a person, end up biting a person. And that's usually the end of it. But to get multiple bites -- three, in fact, in a short period -- is a bit unusual," Florida Atlantic University Biological Sciences Professor Dr. Stephen Kajiura said.

PREVIOUS: Florida authorities warn of shark dangers along Gulf Coast beaches after 3 people are attacked

As Dr. Kaijura explains, a moving hand in the water, a shiny watch or ring reflecting the sun can often be mistaken by a shark for a bait fish, which can be found in shallow water near the beaches where people are.

"It's not unusual to get multiple sharks together in an area all doing the same thing, all feeding. And it would make sense that multiple individuals could have the same interaction, negative interaction," Dr. Kajiura said.

However, Kajiura says there's no cause for alarm. While Florida accounts for about 44 percent of the nation's shark attacks, last year the state saw 16 cases, which is lower than Florida's five-year annual average of 19 incidents a year.

The chances of being bitten by a shark are extremely rare -- about 1 in 3.7 million -- but if you do find yourself in trouble, Kajiura says there are things you can do to protect yourself.

"Punch it in the snout. Punch it in the eyes. Punch it in the gills. You want to make life uncomfortable for that animal, so it lets go of you as soon as possible," Kajiura said.

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