A series of shark attacks off the shores of Long Island has raised concerns among beachgoers and prompted officials to take precautionary measures. Following two reported attacks on Monday, another two swimmers were apparently attacked by sharks on Tuesday. As a result, one beach delayed its opening and drones were deployed to monitor the waters for potential danger. With last year’s increase in shark bites, state parks officials have intensified patrols and surveillance efforts to ensure the safety of beach visitors.
On Tuesday, two swimmers were reportedly attacked by sharks off the coast of Long Island, just a day after two similar incidents occurred at popular New York beaches. In response to the sightings of approximately 50 sand sharks near a popular beach park, one beach delayed its opening to holiday revelers. Prior to authorizing swimming, a complete drone patrol was conducted, revealing the presence of a school of sharks. Although the beach reopened, swimmers were advised to stay close to the shore. Despite a possible shark sighting leading to a temporary closure, officials later confirmed it was a dolphin.
Following a series of attacks last year, state parks officials have ramped up their efforts to ensure beach safety. Increased patrols and the deployment of more drones have been implemented to monitor the waters for potential danger. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison expressed concern, stating that last year saw six swimmers bitten by sharks, making the recent incidents a cause for alarm.
Tuesday’s shark encounters occurred approximately 60 miles apart, with one incident taking place off Fire Island Pines, close to a previous attack where a 15-year-old reported being bitten while surfing. Earlier on Monday, a 15-year-old girl was treated for an apparent shark bite to her leg. Despite thorough checks by lifeguards and drone operators, the exact cause of the bite remains unknown.
In both incidents on Tuesday, the encounters happened just before 2 p.m. In the first incident, a 47-year-old man felt an apparent bite to his right knee while in chest-deep water off Quogue Village Beach in the Hamptons. Although he did not see a shark, Quogue police advised swimmers to stay out of the water until officials could assess the risks. Shortly after, a 49-year-old man reported being bitten on the hand while swimming near Fire Island Pines Beach.
Despite the recent attacks, beachgoers remained on the beach, acknowledging that such incidents are a part of nature. Diana Fratello, a 90-year-old beach visitor, expressed the possibility that humans encroaching on the sharks’ territory may be a contributing factor.
During the summer of 2022, there were a total of eight shark bites reported off the shores of Long Island. These incidents have raised concerns about the safety of beachgoers and the need for increased vigilance in monitoring shark activity. As the summer season continues, authorities will continue to assess the risks and take necessary measures to ensure the safety of swimmers and surfers.