Lengthy Island Seashore swimmers may very well be bitten by sharks, police say

According to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department, a man swimming at Jones Beach on Long Island on Thursday may have been bitten by a shark.

The 57-year-old man was swimming in the sea at about 1 p.m. when he “had a tear in his right foot,” Nassau police said in a news release on Friday.

Doctors treating the man’s wound said it could be a shark bite. Nassau County officials said they will increase patrols at all county beaches through the 4th of July weekend.

Last year, after a few shark sightings along Jones Beach and Lido Beach, officials briefly closed some beaches and began boat patrols along the coast.

Extremely rare attacks in the area and many experts say patrols do more than fuel an unwarranted fear of sharks. Scientists say the reason there seem to be so many sharks spotted is because more people are looking for them.

Hans Walters, a field scientist at the Wildlife Conservancy’s New York Aquarium, says there’s no real evidence that local shark populations have increased in recent years. . He called the threat sharks pose to people on New York’s beaches “very outrageous.”

At a news conference Friday morning at Nickerson Beach, west of Jones Beach, Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman was vague about the details of the report’s potential attack.

“I believe it was on his leg,” he told reporters, adding that “there is no explanation as to how he was injured.”

Surgeons who treated the man “thought it looked like a fish bite, possibly a shark bite,” Blakeman said.

As for whether the injury was caused by a shark, he said, “It’s not 100% but it’s a worrying level.”

With an ocean surveillance police boat behind, Mr. Blakeman announced that the county sheriff will increase patrols this summer, both by boat and by helicopter, with hourly runs along the coast.

The county will also conduct drone monitoring of ocean swimmers, he said, “to make sure we have a good picture of what’s going on.”

“We want to emphasize to everyone that it is safe to go in the ocean,” he said, adding that bathers should always swim with friends and in the presence of lifeguards.

A spokeswoman for the State Parks Department, which operates Jones Beach, called the county sheriff and a hospital spokeswoman said there was no information about the patient.

Along the boardwalk at Jones Beach on Friday afternoon, 20-year-old Isabella Mejia, a college student from Whitestone, Queens, was startled to hear of the possible bite.

“It’s crazy to think that would happen here,” she said. “But it’s something that doesn’t happen often, so it doesn’t really terrify me. I would still go into the water if there were a lot of people there. “

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