Long Island beach-goers wary after shark bite incidents

Long Island lifeguard Zach Gallo is back in the water after he was bitten by a shark at Smith Point County Beach.

"I’m grateful my injuries were minor," Gallo said. 

Just days after Gallo was bitten, Shawn Donnelly had another encounter at the same beach. 

"I took like two to three strokes and bang, I got hit on my back left calf," he said. "It still feels like a dream and like it actually happened."

A bandage now covers a 2-inch gash from what he says was a 5-foot-long sand tiger shark. Donnelly was surfing early Wednesday morning before work. 

RELATED: Shark bites surfer at Suffolk County beach

"I actually think I just happened to paddle past it, it thought I was a fish, it just went for an exploratory bite, saw I wasn’t a food source, didn’t bother me, and just left," Donnelly said. 

Officials tell us there have not been any reported shark bites during beach hours since Smith Point County Park open back in 1959. But with at least four encounters over the past 10 days across Suffolk County, officials believe it may be the new normal. 

"We’re going to continue to be prepared here to reflect what feels like a new reality," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.  

Preparations include launching hi-tech drones in the sky and jet skis and paddle boards on the surf. 

RELATED: Long Island seeing more sharks; experts say it's a good sign

"We have a speaker to broadcast different messages if we wanted to, to the public," said Suffolk FRES Commissioner Patrick Beckley. 

Surveillance has also increased in Nassau County where swimmers were pulled out of the water at Tobay Beach after a shark sighting on Thursday. There was another sighting over at Robert Moses beach as well. 

Attendance according to officials hasn’t been impacted but beachgoers we spoke with had mixed reactions.   

Gallo - who speaks as a lifeguard and victim - offers this advice. 

"If you do go into the ocean, make sure you are going into an area that’s protected by lifeguards," he said.