An extremely rare event took place on Wednesday, July 13 at Fire Island, which is a barrier island located east of New York. In the span of just a few hours, two people were injured in shark attacks. But fortunately, none of them turned out to be fatal.
Two attacks on the same day... and on the same island
The first incident occurred early in the day near Smith Point, a seaside park on the eastern end of Fire Island when a shark bit a person who was paddleboarding. The attack left him with a gash of about 10 centimetres in the leg. According to NBC News, the local authorities said that the victim outpunched the marine predator as it ‘came back to him’ after knocking him off his feet from his board. Fortunately, a wave rushed the swimmer to shore. His attacker was a tiger shark about 1.5 meters long.
The second incident took place around 6 pm, just a few meters from the shore, near Seaview Beach. As per ABC News, a 49-year-old man from Arizona was bitten on the wrists and buttocks when he was only waist deep in water. However, no sightings of the animal could be made, and the beach was reopened later in the day after being closed as a precaution.
Sharks ‘closer to shore’ than before?
This is the fifth shark attack recorded in the Long Island area over the past two weeks. A figure that could not be more worrying, especially since these attacks are supposed to be ‘extremely rare’. Suffolk County Executive, Steve Bellone said:
These tiger sharks are just a little closer to shore than they have been. They've always been here. They've always been here, but they're closer to shore now.
According to the International Shark Attack File of the Florida Museum of Natural History, only 12 shark attacks have historically been confirmed in New York State.
This article is translated from Gentside FR.