Shark bites surge on Long Island: 3 attacks in 2 days raise concerns

Two swimmers were apparently attacked by sharks off the shores of Long Island on Tuesday, a day after two others reported being attacked while enjoying the water at popular New York beaches.

A school of about 50 sand sharks was spotted swimming some 200 yards off Field 3 at Robert Moses on Tuesday morning. 

They were seen the same day as police say two men were reportedly bitten by sharks - one in the hand at Fire Island Pines and the other in the knee out in Quogue.

"This is our new normal," said George Gorman, regional director with New York State Parks. 

Tuesday's incidents happened just before 2 p.m., about 60 miles (95 kilometers) apart, including one off Fire Island Pines.

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

As a precaution, Quogue police advised swimmers to stay out of the water until officials could assess the risks.

Soon after, miles (kilometers) away, a 49-year-old man reported having a hand bitten while swimming near Fire Island Pines Beach.

On Monday a 15-year-old male swimmer was bitten in the heel and toes by a reported shark at Kismet. A 15-year-old female at Robert Moses came out of the water with three small puncture wounds on her leg from an unidentified fish.

New York State has expanded its monitoring capabilities with drone surveillance after several reported shark bites last summer.

According to the Global Shark Attack File, there are about a dozen fatal incidents involving sharks each year around the world. Over the last several years, shark interactions have actually been trending down. Experts say the sharks aren’t interested in us.

"We are way too big, they eat tiny fish, that’s why we see ankle biter type incidences because the foot is the size of the bait," said Ocearch founder Chris Fischer.

With the Associated Press.


Shark sightings prompt Long Island to deploy drones for enhanced beach safety

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