'There's always a potential for risk': State parks police ramp up shark patrols after 5 suspected bites since Monday

Suffolk County officials announced a plan to purchase two high-tech drones to add to its shark patrol arsenal.

Jul 6, 2023, 9:42 AM

Updated 289 days ago

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Multiple agencies on Long Island detailed their plans Thursday to keep swimmers safe following five suspected shark bites this week.
Beachgoers can expect to see patrols on jet skis, paddles boards, helicopters and drones on the lookout for dangerous marine line.
Suffolk County officials announced a plan to purchase two high-tech drones to add to its shark patrol arsenal. They say the drones will cost $47,000 each and will be paid for with county funds.
Officials say the drones will also be used throughout the year to search for missing people and assess storm damage.
"It has the ability to use a high-definition camera, a speaker so we can get messages out to the public and we can drop payloads if anybody needed a life preserver or something of that nature," says Suffolk County Fire Rescue Commissioner Patrick Beckley.
The drones beam back high-definition images, which are displayed on monitors at lifeguard building.
Lifeguards at Smith Point and Cupsogue beaches will receive drone training.
The reported shark bites happened at Robert Moses Field 3, Kismet, Cherry Grove and the Pines on Fire Island and on Quogue Beach.
"We are entering the natural habitat of these animals and there's always a potential for risk, but with all the assets and manpower we have employed here the idea is to keep people as safe as possible," says Alex Goodman, NYS Park Police.
Police say it takes two minutes for lifeguards to pull swimmers from the water once a shark is spotted from above.
Officials say the drones will also be used throughout the year to search for missing people and assess storm damage.


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