Several Long Island beaches are closed after yet another shark was spotted off the coast of Jones Beach — believed to be the fourth sighting in the last 24 hours.
Nassau County Executive Laurie Curran confirmed that a shark was seen roughly five miles off the coast of Jones Beach Field 6 on Tuesday afternoon. As a result, all Long Beach waters are currently closed to swimming, including the county-run Nickerson Beach. Jones Beach, which is operated by the state, was briefly closed, but has since reopened, according to NYS Parks officials.
(The above GIF included in Curran's announcement is not of the actual shark in question, as far as we know. Some people might call this misleading, while others understand that it's important to grab the readers attention on a constantly updated social feed with many pieces of content vying for the reader's attention).
The shark alert comes one day after Hempstead lifeguard saw a "significant-sized shark" — believed to be a bull shark — roughly ten feet off the shore of Lido Beach West. Officials quickly cleared the beach, with Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin telling reporters and the public, "it was pretty close, folks. That is really close to the shore line."
"The staff haven’t seen a shark this size in quite a long time, if ever, and this is just out of an abundance of caution to the residents for their safety,” Clavin continued.
Swimmers were permitted back in the water, but were cleared again after a second shark sighting just a two hours later. Officials then reported a third sighting near Point Lookout, according to Newsday.
Reports of the possible near-shore bull shark sighting could be cause for concern, according to Long Beach Chief of Lifeguards Paul Gillespie.
"They will attack you, they don't let anything get in their way. With thresher sharks, basically they'll eat because they're hungry, but the bull sharks will attack you," Gillespie told WCBC 880.
He added that bull sharks can be up to 14 feet long and that, in general, more sharks are expected to come to the area as the ocean warms. Scientists have noted that the climate crisis is already impacting the migratory paths of bull sharks, sending them toward warmer areas, often along coast lines that they have not previously explored.
Over the weekend, a sea skate with gnarly bite marks washed ashore in Long Beach, possibly the result of a hangry bull shark.
On Monday, a New York City woman was killed while swimming off the coast of Maine by a great white shark. The victim, 63-year-old Julie Dimperio Holowachm, was swimming with her daughter about 20 yards off the shore of Bailey Island when she was attacked, officials said.
The woman's death is believed to be the first documented fatal shark attack in Maine's history.