Shark Sightings at Long Island Beaches Force Swimmers Out of Water For Second Day in A Row

A crowded Jones Beach on Saturday, July 19_3_1
Crowds packed Jones Beach State Park on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Photo by Mira Lerner.

Shark sightings prompted officials to clear swimmers out of the water at South Shore Long Island beaches for the second day in a row Tuesday.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tweeted that a shark was spotted at 3 p.m. off Jones Beach State Park Field 6. County officials closed Nickerson Beach in Lido Beach as a result. Ocean access was temporarily shut down at both Jones Beach and neighboring Long Beach as a result, but a representative of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Long Island office could not confirm whether the sightings were sharks, due to the presence of dolphins.

An investigation is ongoing. A Nassau County Police Department helicopter is monitoring the situation from the air.

The sightings come a day after shark sightings at Lido Beach West, Nickerson Beach, and Long Beach prompted all beaches along the South Shore to be temporarily shut down Monday with limited water access. A New York City woman was also killed in a rare shark attack in Maine on Monday.

All South Shore LI beaches reopened Tuesday, though some with restrictions. Prior to today’s sightings, Nickerson Beach visitors were limited to knee-deep water.

While town officials said they believed Monday’s sharks were of a “dangerous” and
“aggressive” bull shark, experts disagreed, saying the sightings were likely of sand tiger or sandbar sharks that are common around Long Island in warm weather.

The shark sightings and restrictions come during a heat wave that saw local officials extending beach opening hours across the Island.

Related Story: Lido Lifeguards Report Shark Sighting of “Significant Size”

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters hereSign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.