Another shark sighting closed down Rockaway Beach for swimming on Saturday — the second in recent days, and in the midst of a blistering heat wave.
The New York City Parks Department said the beach would be closed for swimming due to shark sightings in a tweet shortly after 2 p.m. The boardwalk and concessions would remain open, the tweet explained, adding, “We will reopen the beach when it is safe to do so.”
The sighting on Saturday afternoon — occurring on the tri-state area’s hottest weekend of the year so far — is the second in recent days. Another sighting on Tuesday near the peninsula’s shoreline also closed down the beach for swimming.
Though red flags dotted the shoreline, a Gothamist reporter on site witnessed people returning to the water, some of them waist deep.
Conservation efforts and positive developments within New York’s marine ecosystem have given shark populations room to grow in abundance in the region, according to experts.
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday ordered state agencies to step up their monitoring efforts of sharks on Long Island’s beaches, which also have seen their share of recent sightings, and to ramp up lifeguard presence by 25 percent through overtime.
At least six people have been bitten while swimming in Long Island’s beaches in recent weeks. None of them were seriously harmed.