A woman was critically wounded in the latest shark attack in the New York City area.
Beachgoers looked on in disbelief Monday evening at Rockaway Beach as she was bitten on a leg.
That 50-year-old was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.
Before Monday, there were no reports of shark bites at Rockaway Beach in recent memory. The beach was to have a delayed opening Tuesday while city officials continued enhanced surveillance of the water. Police were flying drones overhead.
After the incident Monday, a witness said the woman was awake but seemed to be in shock.
“The lady’s on the stretcher. She’s bleeding on the leg,” the person said.
“I see one big bite and one little one,” they said.
“That’s crazy, though. I can’t believe someone got attacked,” surfer Yaan Vessial said.
Far Rockaway residents said they were surprised to hear of a shark attack at the beach because the water is usually pretty barren.
“There’s nothing here. You don’t really see any fish. It’s just sand, like a big desert under there,” Vessial said.
“Finding out about the shark bite — that blew my mind,” remarked Colin Smith.
There have already been at least five reported shark attacks at New York beaches this summer. Last year, there were at least eight statewide.
The city Parks Department issued a statement saying: “We hope for a full recovery for this swimmer. Though this was a frightening event, we want to remind New Yorkers that shark bites in Rockaway are extremely rare. We remain vigilant in monitoring the beach and always clear the water when a shark is spotted.”