'I just started hammer punching.' Smith Point Beach lifeguard details surviving shark attack

A lifeguard at Smith Point Beach says he went into survival mode Sunday as he was being attacked by a shark.

News 12 Staff

Jul 5, 2022, 10:14 PM

Updated 652 days ago

Share:

A lifeguard at Smith Point Beach says he went into survival mode Sunday as he was being attacked by a shark.
Zachari Gallo was in the middle of a routine training exercise playing the part of a victim in the water when he actually became one.
The lifeguard of 10 years says he was treading water waiting for other lifeguards to come get him when he felt a sharp pain in his hand. He realized a 5-foot shark had attached itself to him.
"I just started hammer punching, I connected with the animal three times, I felt the rubbery skin," Gallo says. "It felt like a basketball."
After Gallo punched the shark, he says it tail-whipped him in the chest before taking off.
Gallo swam back to shore and notified the other lifeguards to get out of the water.
Suffolk officials closed the beach off Sunday and opened it back on Monday after lifeguards and rangers made sure the water was safe.
There were stepped up shark patrols using boats, helicopters and drones.
Gallo says he considers himself lucky to only walk away with minimal injuries. He received two stitches on his hand and is taking some time off to heal.
"The only advice that I would make sure to say to people if you are choosing to go into the ocean, make sure you are in an area that is protected by lifeguards," Gallo says.
Gallo says he will return to work next Thursday and can't wait to get back in the water.


More from News 12