Following a recent increase in shark sightings experienced along the coast of Long Island, New York beaches are increasing shark patrol efforts across shorelines. According to the New York Times, the sightings began to increase last summer when shark feeding on bait fish came “alarmingly close to swimmers.”
Already, a 10-foot mako shark was found at Point Lookout over Memorial Day weekend, reported CBS, and more sightings have been noted since then. A possible attack was documented around Fourth of July weekend at Jones Beach. The 57-year old male going for a swim had “sustained a laceration to his right foot,” shared the Nassau police in Friday’s news release. The wound has been identified as a possible shark bite.
Beach closures have followed increases in sightings in years past and new efforts are being put in place to ensure the safety of swimmers across New York beaches. For example, Hempstead Town has launched a new ‘shark patrol,’ deploying crews to scout the shoreline. Lifeguards will aid bay constables by patrolling waters on jet skis.
Patrol efforts are not only being done by water, but air as well. Helicopters and drones will soar above New York beaches to monitor any danger. Specifically, Jones Beach and Robert Moses State Park are training their staff to “operate a fleet of seven drones as part of a new aerial shark-monitoring program,” reports the New York Times. Shark trackers are even being put to use by lifeguards in East Hampton.
And though sightings have increased, it’s important to note that beach goers aren’t in any imminent danger. “Most sharks are not dangerous to humans — people are not part of their natural diet,” assures the National Ocean Service. Hans Walters, a field scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium even told the New York Times that “The danger to people is infinitesimal.”
But if you’re looking to patrol the creatures yourself you can use “OCEARCH” to show you where they have last surfaced, their weight and height etc. all from the comfort and safety of your home.