After receiving a surprise visit from sharks, Long Island beach goers were evacuated briefly in order to avoid the potential for a shark attack.
When multiple sightings claimed there were sharks, Long Island beach lifeguards blew their whistles and urged all the swimmer to make their way out of the water. The initial shark sightings occurred at Tobay Beach in the town of Oyster Bay, but as a precaution swimmers at adjacent Cedar and Overlook beaches were also told to evacuate the water.
Marta Kane, spokeswoman for the Town of Oyster Bay, said there were about 2,000 people in the water at the time of the Long Island shark sighting. A second shark sighting occurred about 90 minutes later, with witnesses saying there was a six-foot shark escorting a baby shark through the water. Officials are uncertain whether these shark sightings were the same, so it is possible there were more than two sharks out in the water.
A Nassau County police helicopter checked out the Long Island beach sharks from the air and they were able to confirm the two shark sightings. It is believed at least two six-foot sharks were swimming just 15 feet from the shoreline. It is believed the two sharks were heading east in the water toward Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County, but no further shark sightings have been made.
Fortunately, Long Island beach did not suffer a shark attack and swimmers were allowed back into the water about two hours later. According to Newsday, Kane says both Suffolk County police and the Town of Babylon were notified of the eastbound sharks, although there have not been any new reports from those areas.
When it comes to sharks, Long Island beach is not known for shark attacks. The state of Florida has the worst statistics for shark attacks in the United States, with Hawaii, California, and North and South Carolina following close behind. In fact, the last fatal New York shark attack was in 1878 and the last non-fatal shark attack off Long Island occurred during a fishing expedition. Back in 2010, a young man named Frank Joseph hooked a seven-foot blue shark, and he suffered a laceration to his right bicep.
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