Long Island beaches close amid shark sightings: report

Long Island beaches close amid shark sightings: report

August 15, 2020

Nassau County Police’s ‘shark patrol’ helps keep the beaches safe

Laura Ingle talks to the officers behind tracking sharks off the coast of Nassau County.

New York beaches have seen a surge in shark sightings, creating a tense summer for beach goers who hoped to escape the stress of coronavirus restrictions, according to reports.

Shark patrols have increased along various Long Island beaches, including helicopters making multiple passes along with lifeguards keeping an eye out for fins. The towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead closed multiple town beaches over the past week, labeling them with red flags, which means no swimming allowed, according to NBC 4.

According to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, it was the 17th shark spotted so far this summer.

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Paul Sieswerda, executive director of the marine research organization Gotham Whale, said Gotham Whale has received “more than double” the number of shark sightings this summer than those in past years, the Long Island Press reported. Many sightings have occurred in the Ambrose Channel, just south of Brooklyn and Staten Island.

The main attraction appears to be warmer water, which acted as a driver for various shark populations to visit the local waters, CBS news reported.

“Temperature is a big driver, it triggers their migrations, so it’s possible that animals are moving earlier in the spring and possibly staying later in the fall,” said Michael Frisk, of Stony Brook University.

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Officials have yet to determine whether the sightings are of the same or multiple sharks.

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Experts advise that if a resident encounters a shark, he or she can take a few simple precautions to avoid an incident: don’t splash, don’t swim alone and don’t swim at dusk or dawn.

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