A sand bar shark spotted in the waters of Field 3 at Robert Moses State Park today moved lifeguards to evacuate all swimmers from the water and close the beach to swimming for an hour, as per protocol.
The 1:20pm shark sighting on Wednesday, July 18 prompted state parks officials to keep people out of the water until Suffolk County Police helicopters reported the area clear of any sharks at about 2:30pm, according to George Gorman, Long Island deputy regional director of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Published reports said Suffolk Police also put up drones over the ocean to try and find the shark.
Also today in separate instances, two people were bitten at Suffolk County beaches in two possible shark attacks, and multiple beaches there were closed to swimming, officials said. The incidents were reported off Sailors Haven and Atlantique beaches, both on Fire Island. The town of Islip closed all South Shore Fire Island beaches after the Atlantique incident.
According to online records, sand bar sharks are one of the larger and most common coastal sharks. But while there have been some reported attacks on humans, they are not generally considered dangerous.