Sharks spotted at Long Island beach again

Swimmers and surfers were called out of the water at Cupsogue County Park at the west end of Dune Road when 5-7 shark fins were spotted on Long Island on May 31, 2011. (stringer news service)

June 3, 2011 11:29:32 AM PDT
There are 15-20-foot sharks just ten feet off the shoreline at Cupsogue Beach County Park in West Hampton, something residents have not seen after more than 20 years of living on the beach.

"I am so impressed with how close they are to shore, and you see this big fin coming up and going down again and they're going back and forth, back and forth," said beachgoer Pat O'Malley

That is why there are bright red warning signs up ? to tell surfers and swimmers to not even think about getting in the water. The Southampton Marine patrol boat crew is trying to figure out what kind of sharks they are dealing with, and why they are not leaving.

Westhampton Dunes mayor Gary Vegilante said, "If I had my choice I would swim with basking sharks, not predator sharks. The difference ? basking sharks are very large animals that primarily eat plankton."

About fifty people were in the water on Tuesday afternoon when the sharks were first spotted. They were quickly called out, and lifeguards and parks police have been keeping an eye on the beach ever since ? now it's sunbathing and shark spotting only.

Beachgoer Patty Slack said, "He came right where that second wave is. He came like fifteen feet from us. It's pretty cool."

Another beachgoer, Bernadette Nobile, added that "it's exciting, but a little nerve-wracking. I don't know if my kids will get back in the water after this. The only time we've seen something like this is in an aquarium."