Only hours after a decision was made to ban swimming at Rockaway Beach, the body of a great white shark about 8 feet long was found on Long Island on Wednesday. The stranded predatory fish was reported around 9:30 a.m. on Ocean Beach in the village of Quogue and apparently, was thrown back into the water.
According to Frank Quevedo, executive director of the South Fork Natural History Museum Shark Research and Education Program, the shark’s size suggests the predator might be 6 to 10 years old.
Shark sightings are not unusual off the southern coast of Long Island, which is believed to be an important breeding hub for white sharks. However, the summer of 2022 has seen a striking increase in shark attacks in eastern New York, with at least six such incidents on Long Island in the last two weeks.
In one of the most recent cases, on Wednesday a 16-year-old boy was bitten on his right foot while surfing off Fire Island’s Kismet Beach, managing to get himself out of the water despite the notable injury.
The recent string of incidents has prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul to intensify vigilance with drones and helicopters. From Montauk Point to Jones Beach, both the Coast Guard and the State Police are patrolling the shoreline to check from the air if sharks get too close to the beaches, so as to give timely notice to lifeguards and swimmers.