A Long Island lifeguard was playing a victim during a training exercise in the ocean Sunday when he was attacked by a shark – and fought the monster with his hands, officials said. no, officials said.
Smith Point Beach lifeguard Zack Gallo was bitten in the chest and right arm during a terrifying encounter with the 4- to 5-foot shark, said Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive.
“He was playing the role of a victim, and in the middle of that, he really became the victim when this shark bite happened,” Bellone said at a press conference.
Gallo fought the shark by “punching down” it, Bellone said, according to news reports.
Bellone said the lifeguard’s hand injury likely “occurred while he was beating the shark”. “At that point, the interaction is over.”
The other defenders were in the water doing the exercise in a hurry to help Gallo, who was “bleeding a lot”, but the victim was able to miraculously step out of the water without assistance, pol cho said. know.
The injured rescue worker was then bandaged and taken to a local hospital, Bellone said.
“Fortunately, he’s doing well,” Bellone said. “He is in very good spirits at Southside Hospital… getting some stitches.
“Ironically, if there is any moment to interact with such a shark where you end up being bitten, it is the moment where he plays the role of a victim, and there are actually some Our other lifeguards in this training exercise Bellone said, according to Newsday.
The beach was closed after the attack.
Bellone said authorities sent a drone out to monitor the water afterwards and saw a shark, but, “We don’t know if it’s the same shark. ”
A second beach east of Smith Point, Cupsogue, was also closed Sunday “due to hazardous marine activity,” county park officials said.
Three days earlier, nearby Jones Beach in Nassau County saw a swimmer being “possibly bitten by a shark”, prompting the county sheriff there to step up beach patrols ahead of the 4th of July weekend.
The town of Hempstead also established a “Shark Patrol” after a fisherman spotted a 10-foot Mako shark over Memorial Day weekend about 11 miles west of Jones Beach.
Shark attacks on Long Island are “extremely rare,” county officials said, but their frequency has since increased.
The past two years have seen more shark sightings than the previous decade combined.