Fire ISLAND, N.Y. —Suffolk County officials shut down the Long Island beach to swimming on Sunday following what they called an unprecedented shark attack which wounded one lifeguard.
The lifeguard was acting as the victim in a training practice when the shark bit him on the chest and in the hand, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said at a news conference.
The attack occurred at 10:00 a.m. on Smith Point Beach. The lifeguard was being treated for stitches and was in “very well-behaved,” Bellone said.
“If you’re ever going to experience an encounter with a shark, this is likely to be the best scenario you can imagine,” Bellone said, saying that the lifeguard received swift assistance from the other officials involved in the training. “We haven’t experienced an incident of this magnitude take place. We hope that we will never have another incident like this.”
Bellone stated that there was a second shark sighting after the incident, however it wasn’t clear if it was the same shark.
The beach was shut off for swim for the remainder of the day, but it is the beach is scheduled to reopen next Monday with the authorities monitoring the waters for sharks.
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