Possible shark attacks prompt increased patrols on New York’s Long Island beaches

NEW YORK (AP) — Two swimmers were apparently attacked by sharks off Long Island on Tuesday, a day after two others reported being attacked while enjoying the water at popular New York beaches.

At least one beach delayed opening to revelers on Tuesday after officials said drones spotted some 50 sand sharks that morning near a popular beach park. When the beach reopened, swimmers were told to stay close to shore.

“We want to make sure swimmers are safe,” Long Island State Parks Regional Manager George Gorman told Newsday.

The beach was closed once again after a possible shark sighting, but officials determined it was a dolphin.

After a series of attacks last year, state park officials increased patrols and deployed more drones to scout the waters for danger.

“We had a season last year where six swimmers were bitten by sharks, so it became a bit of a concern,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison told WABC.

Tuesday’s incidents occurred about 95 kilometers apart, including one off Fire Island Pines – not far from another attack the day before when a 15-year-old said he was bitten one of his feet by a shark while he was surfing.

Earlier Monday, another 15-year-old girl was treated for an apparent shark bite to her leg.

“She didn’t see what bit her, rescuers didn’t know what bit her, the drone operator checked the area, we didn’t see,” Gorman said. “So we can’t say for sure what bit her.”

Tuesday’s shark encounters both took place just before 2 p.m.

A 47-year-old man was in chest-deep water off Quogue Village Beach in the Hamptons when he felt an apparent bite mark on his right knee, Quogue police said. He told authorities he had not seen a shark.

As a precaution, Quogue police have advised swimmers to stay out of the water until authorities can assess the risks.

Shortly after, miles away, a 49-year-old man said his hand was bitten while swimming near Fire Island Pines Beach.

Despite the attacks, the revelers remained on the beach.

“It’s nature and maybe we’re taking over their domain and they don’t like it,” Diana Fratello, 90, told WCBS.

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