Lifeguard may have been bitten by shark at Jones Beach

JONES BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- A lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park may have been bitten by a shark while in the water.

The incident was reported near Central Mall at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday.

The lifeguard reported a possible shark bite on his left calf that measured about 1 inch in length. He said he saw a fin in the water.

Swimming was immediately suspended at the beach and police responded with a drone to overfly and inspect the water.



EMTs on the scene provided initial treatment to the lifeguard who was referred to a local hospital for further examination and treatment.

The investigation into the nature of the bite continues. NYS Parks said it is not yet clear if it was a shark or other form of marine life.

After the drone flights yielded no sightings, the beach was reopened to swimming at 2:05 p.m. Officials say the monitoring will continue.

"We have the ability of drones to scan the waters, so we are on the watch, we have been on the watch, whenever lifeguards come on duty, we have state police on the beachfront as well as the park staff that are continuously monitoring the waterways," regional director of NYS Parks George Gorman said.

State Parks has implemented its shark alert protocols since two sand sharks were spotted last Thursday.

The two sand sharks about 4-5 feet in length were spotted close to the shoreline at Field 6 at Jones Beach. Swimming was prohibited for several hours.

The day before, on Wednesday, a shark was spotted by residents 25 yards off Nickerson Beach. Swimming stopped for an hour.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation offers the following shark safety tips:

-Avoid areas with seals.
-Avoid areas with schools of bait fish, often characterized by fish splashing on the surface, diving sea birds, or the presence of marine mammals such as dolphins.
-Avoid areas where people are fishing.
-Avoid swimming in the ocean at dusk, dawn, or night time.
-Avoid murky water.

-Avoid isolation. Swim, paddle, kayak, and surf in groups.
-Swim close to shore, where your feet can touch the bottom.
-Always follow instructions of lifeguards and parks staff.
-Adhere to all signage at beaches.

ALSO READ | Air, water patrols boosted after 2 days of shark sightings on Long Island
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County Executive Laura Curran and police officials say they are boosting the surveillance of the shoreline to help alert beachgoers and swimmers to the presence of sharks.



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