'I had to come back.' Rookie lifeguard returns to the water following shark bite

The team of lifeguards training with John Mullins were shaken by his incident with the shark, but they say their peer's bravery and refusal to quit has given them strength.

News 12 Staff

Jul 13, 2022, 12:04 PM

Updated 639 days ago

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A 17-year-old Ocean Beach lifeguard returned back to the water Wednesday after getting bitten by a shark last week.
As News 12 has reported, rookie lifeguard John Mullins was bitten by a tiger sand shark while training last Thursday on Fire Island.
Mullins, of Islip, was bit on day 10 of his new job. He received five stitches on his foot.
"It's definitely scary going back out there," Mullins says. "I was playing mind games with myself - it's all just mental. We pushed through it, we got back."
The team of lifeguards training with Mullins were shaken by his incident with the shark, but they say their peer's bravery and refusal to quit has given them strength.
"We are really proud of John for sticking it out - he's a real trooper," says Kali Maroney, of Lindenhurst.
Mullins was happy to be back in the water despite his initial fears.
"I definitely could have went back to my old job serving pizza, which is definitely a lot less dangerous," Mullins says. "But yeah, this job is so much fun. I had to come back just for my team and for the community."


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