Surfer apparently bitten by shark on Long Island, official says
A man who was surfing off Long Island’s Smith Point County Park on Wednesday morning was apparently bitten by a shark, officials said. The surfer, who was not identified, was taken to an area hospital after telling emergency responders that he’d been attacked by a shark, according to CBS New York.
“There was a surfer in these waters who suffered about, according to first responders, about a four-inch gash in his leg, from apparently a tiger shark, identified by the individual about four feet,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told CBS New York.
Early beachgoers arrived to find Smith Point Park closed, with warning signs about dangerous marine life, and swimming prohibited, CBS New York’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
One beachgoer told CBS New York that it’s now “something you’ve got to be expecting when you’re in the water.”
“I saw him this morning when he was by the booth getting medical treatment, but, you know, looked like just a small bite on his leg, I think a couple of inches,” the beachgoer said. “It happens. It’s nothing that makes me that nervous. I’m going to keep coming to the beach and going in the water anyway.”
The apparent attack was just the latest in a string of incidents on Long Island this summer. Just before the Fourth of July holiday weekend, a Smith Point lifeguard was bitten during a training exercise.
“It’s a lot. You know, we had one the other week, and we had another one again. Yeah, we’re just doing our best to keep everybody safe and everything and… keep, like, shark attacks at a minimum,” one lifeguard told McLogan. “There was like a surfer. He was out there… I think it was, like, a sand shark. They’ve been aggressive lately, the sharks, so, just doing our best to keep everybody safe.”
A 57-year-old man who was swimming off Jones Beach in Wantagh was also possibly bitten earlier this month. He suffered a laceration to his right foot.
The increase in shark sightings is indicative of improved water quality, experts told CBS New York.
“It means our waters are healthy and clean,” said Stony Brook University Marine Sciences Center manager Chris Paparo.
There have been several other shark attacks reported across the U.S. this summer. Last month, a girl was seriously injured in a shark attack at a Florida beach. The 17-year-old was scalloping in water about five feet deep at the time, and a family member reportedly jumped in and beat the shark away, officials said. She is expected to survive, but her leg was amputated.
Elsewhere, a 62-year-old surfer was seriously hurt in a shark attack at a California beach. He is also expected to survive.