Amid several shark attacks along the Long Island coast, two more people were recently bitten, marking the fifth and sixth shark run-ins so far this summer.
On Wednesday, two separate shark attacks occurred around 12 hours apart. The first attack happened around 7:30 a.m. local time before lifeguards were on duty.
A 41-year-old paddleboarder was attacked by a suspected tiger shark at Smith Point Beach. The individual was bitten on his left calf before he was washed ashore.
“He was knocked off his board and then he saw this shark coming back around towards him and at that moment felt very fortunate that a wave came in and helped push him towards the shore,” Steve Bellone, Suffolk County executive, said in a statement.
The next attack occurred around 6 p.m. local time at Seaview Beach. A 49-year-old man was “standing in waist-deep water when a shark came up from behind and bit him on the left wrist and buttocks,” according to the Suffolk County Police Department.
The man, who walked out of the water following the shark attack, was transported via a Suffolk County Police helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital. He sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Since shark attacks appear to be getting closer to the shore, Bellone noted it could be “an indication that what we are looking at is something of a new normal.”
Bellone claimed the cleaner waters could be the reason why sharks are beginning to come closer to the shore but insisted lifeguards will keep swimmers safe.
“We have the best-trained lifeguards anywhere in the state, and we are, they are constantly on alert for any dangers out in the waterways,” Bellone said. “They are constantly watching those waters, and I can tell you, they are looking for sharks.”
On Thursday morning, an ABC 7 NY drone spotted what appeared to be a shark in the water near Long Beach.
The latest shark sighting comes the same day Suffolk County revealed a lifeguard, who was bitten on July 3 at Smith Point County Beach, has been cleared by a doctor to return to work.
Although Smith Point Beach briefly reopened for swimming amid shark attacks, as of Thursday, no swimming signs were posted at Robert Moses Field 3 and adjacent areas after a shark sighting.