A shark sighting off the coast of South Shore Long Island was reported Friday for the fifth day in a row, prompting the Town of Hempstead to close off swimming from Civic Beach to Town Park Lido West Beach.
The latest shark was sighted off Lido Beach after 3 p.m. by Hempstead’s “Shark Patrol,” which began using jet skis and bay constables Thursday to supplement the ongoing search work of lifeguards on the shore and Nassau County Police Department boats and helicopters. Eight shark sightings off South Shore beaches between Monday and Wednesday, including at Nickerson Beach and Long Beach, prompted the hefty response by local officials.
On Thursday, the Town of Hempstead permitted regular swimming at Atlantic Beach and East Atlantic Beach, but only knee-deep swimming from Civic Beach to Lido West Town Park Beach. Meanwhile, in the Town of Oyster Bay, a shark sighting at Tobay Beach in Massapequa led to the closure of ocean access Thursday.
Officials have primarily attributed the increase in sightings to warmer water. Paul Sieswerda, executive director of the marine research organization Gotham Whale, said at a press conference Wednesday that his organization has received “more than double” the number of shark sightings around the Island this summer than in past years.
While officials have yet to determine whether the sightings are of the same or multiple sharks, a widely circulated photo of Manhasset resident TJ Minutillo reeling in an 8-foot bull shark off Nickerson Beach on Saturday night confirmed beliefs that many of the recent sightings can be attributed to that species.
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