Unwanted Guests Show Their Teeth at New York's Beaches

Multiple shark bites reported off Long Island, Fire Island over the last few days
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2023 11:05 AM CDT
New York's Beaches Have Gotten a Little Sharky
People are seen at Field 3 at Robert Moses State Park in West Islip, New York, on Tuesday. Two swimmers were apparently attacked by sharks off the shores of Long Island on Tuesday, a day after two others reported being attacked while enjoying the water at popular New York beaches.   (James Carbone/Newsday via AP)

It's beach season in New York—and apparently for the sharks hanging around in the waters off the Empire State's popular beaches, as well. As NBC News reports, several people were bitten by sharks on Monday and Tuesday, though none were fatal. The details:

  • A 15-year-old boy was bitten on his heel and toes off Fire Island on Monday evening as he was surfing. He went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
  • A 15-year-old girl was bitten Monday at Robert Moses State Park on Long Island. She was treated at the scene.

  • A 47-year-old man was bitten Tuesday on his right knee and suffered lacerations in Quogue, Long Island. Local cops said the "the bite was from a larger marine animal." He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Cops asked people to stay out of the water afterward.
  • NBC notes that minutes after that incident, a 49-year-old man swimming off Fire Island was bitten on his hand by a shark. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

As the New York Post reports, the attack at Robert Moses State Park prompted officials to deploy drones Tuesday morning, which in turn spotted a school of about 50 sand sharks just off the beach. "Obviously, we did not open for swimming at 8 o'clock when lifeguards came on duty," says George Gorman, the Long Island regional director for New York state's parks department. Drones kept watch on the school until 9:30am, when staff called the beaches safe for the busy holiday. The Post notes that sand sharks, which can grow up to 10 feet, are generally docile—unless they mistake human hands and feet for their normal prey of smaller fish. The attacks were the first of the season, but they came after eight attacks in 2022, which prompted New York to purchase 10 drones to help Long Island authorities spot sharks. (More shark attack stories.)

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