Shark sightings near Fort Lauderdale Beach prompt evacuation

A pair of sharks were spotted near the shore of Fort Lauderdale Beach on Friday.

April 08, 2017, 10:21 AM

— -- Shark sightings near the shore of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Beach on Friday prompted lifeguards in the area to briefly evacuate the waters.

Witnesses told ABC affiliate WPLG that two sharks were spotted just off the beach near Sunrise Boulevard around 1 p.m. local time.

"I said, 'Look behind you. There's a bigger one.' And people were, of course, freaking out," one witness told WPLG.

Another witness, Jimmy Douglas, was on the beach when one of the sharks swam by and captured the moment on video, which was obtained by WPLG.

Lifeguards in the area decided to evacuate people from the water after the sharks were seen so close to shore, according to WPLG. The evacuation only lasted about 30 minutes, but some beach-goers were hesitant to return to the surf.

“I didn’t run in the water after that,” one woman told WPLG.

Of the 449 shark attacks in U.S. waters since 2007, 323 have occurred along East Coast states, according to data from the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Florida has seen more than half of the country's shark attacks. Volusia and Brevard counties have the highest number of attacks in the Sunshine State.

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