Multiple Shark Attacks at New York Beaches
Over the past 2 weeks, five different shark attacks have taken place at New York beaches. Authorities have closed down several beaches, restricting access from swimmers and surfers, in an effort to protect New Yorkers.
In the early hours of Thursday, July 7th, a rookie lifeguard got bitten by a shark during his routine lifeguard exercise at Ocean Beach.
John Mullins, 17, was engaging in part of a lifeguard exercise routine when a shark bit him, injuring his foot in the ocean. The officials are certain that the shark that bit him was between 3 to 5 feet long.
Mullins commented, “I didn’t really feel the bite at first. My adrenaline was rushing right away.” He was immediately rushed to South Shore University Hospital and he received stitches and will make a full recovery.
A few days prior to the shark attack on Fire Island, 33-year-old lifeguard Zachari Gallo was attacked by a shark on Smith Point Beach. He was with his team of lifeguards on July 3rd, chin-deep in the waters doing routine exercise when he unexpectedly felt a sharp pinch on the side of his hand.
Gallo told the news reporters, “I ripped back and just started hammer-punching, and I felt the rubber texture of the head. It felt like the size of a basketball.”
He was admitted to the hospital and he received a few stitches to his hand and a bandage over his chest. Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive, said he was thankful the injuries were minor and that the lifeguard was doing well. “We have never had an incident like this occur. Hopefully, we never will again,” he said.
An hour after the incident occurred, the guards restricted swimming access at Ocean Beach, however, they permitted the beach-goers to enter the water at a waist-deep level, to prevent further attacks. The authorities released a statement that they were intending on setting up beach patrols and also started a “Shark Patrol” to prevent dangerous marine incidents in the area.
Still on Multiple Shark Attacks…
Experts noted that an increase in shark sightings is due to improved water quality. They also reassured the public that sharks swim to the shore in search of seals, saying they are near beaches in search of food and often mistake humans for seals. Shark attacks occur rarely but they are increasing recently as more people are going to the beaches.
On Wednesday, July 13th, Long Island experienced its fifth shark attack in two weeks when a 49-year-old man was bitten in waist-deep water on his left arm and lower back. The attack took place at Seaview Beach on Fire Island. The man was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital by helicopter and is said to be in stable condition.
It is advised by a local fisherman that if you encounter a shark, don’t panic but keep the shark in sight and exit the water very slowly.
However, if you’re already bitten, don’t attempt to play ‘dead’, but rather try to fight back with anything you might have with you such as a paddle, fishing equipment, surfboard, etc. After an attack, attempt to stop the bleeding before leaving the water by applying direct pressure on the wound while also leaving the water quickly
So far, shark attacks have taken place at Seaview Beach, Jones Beach, Ocean Beach, and Smith Point beach. None of the attacks have been fatal, with all victims receiving stitches for their minor injuries.