State officials assure beachgoers the ocean is safe despite last weeks’ shark attacks, sightings

State park officials are on high alert following two shark attacks as Long Islanders flock to the beach this weekend.

News 12 Staff

Jul 10, 2022, 4:08 PM

Updated 647 days ago

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After two shark attacks last week along the south shore, state park officials assured beachgoers Sunday they are patrolling the ocean by boat, helicopter and using drones for potential sightings. 
The shark sightings, however, did not stop Long Island residents from hitting the beaches this week. 
Larchmont resident Kinnan O’Connell told News 12 Long Island she was not concerned. 
“There’s always sharks in the water. If I see a find, I might be concerned,” O’Connell said. 
On Saturday, a shark forced swimmers out of the water for an hour and half off Davis Park.  
Two lifeguards were bitten by sharks last week, one at Ocean Beach and another at Smith Point County park. 
While officials are doing their part to keep swimmers safe, they are giving these tips to those who want to swim in the water. 
You should always be aware of your surroundings. Always go in the ocean with someone else. If you see birds hovering near the water, that’s a sign there is a school of fish in the ocean and sharks are more likely to be lurking nearby. 
If you are among those wondering why there are more sharks this summer, Dr. Tobey Curtis from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said the waters are warmer and there is an overabundance of bunker or bait fish. 
“Those bait fish get close to the shore, the dolphins and sharks follow,” Dr. Curtis explained. “The sharks are not interested in people at all.” 
Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman told News 12 Long Island he’s received over 100 phone calls from residents asking if the ocean is safe. In an effort to reassure those concerned residents, he took a dip in the ocean himself. 
“Getting bit by a shark is extremely rare,” Blakeman said. “You have a better chance at winning the lottery.” 


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