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Shark attacks in New York, sightings in Florida put swimmers on alert

With beach trips expected to persist throughout the summer, we have a few recommendations to reduce the likelihood of encountering sharks.
Shark attacks in New York, sightings in Florida put swimmers on alert
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jul 05, 2023

While millions of Americans celebrated the Fourth of July on beaches throughout the U.S., the sharks didn't take a break.

New York State Parks officials have increased patrols and deployed drones along Long Island beaches after reports of shark attacks.

At least four people were reportedly bitten by sharks off the coast of Long Island on Monday and Tuesday.

On Tuesday, within minutes of each other, two separate attacks occurred about 60 miles apart, targeting two men in their 40s. And on Monday, two 15-year-olds were bitten in separate incidents.

While none of the bites posed a life-threatening risk, these events have heightened the vigilance of swimmers and local authorities after drones spotted 50 sand sharks near a well-known beach park.

But New York is not the only state that has been plagued by recent shark sightings.

Beachgoers at Navarre Beach, Florida, literally swam for their lives.

A hammerhead shark was spotted zipping in and out and thrashing only 5 to 10 yards off the Florida coast.

In a video obtained by CNN, you can see men, women, and even children all in the water as people yell "get out of the water" after spotting the shark.

Experts say the shark appeared to be engaging in its normal feeding behavior as it followed schools of fish.

Reduce shark encounters

Since we are in the sharks' habitat, it's best to always stay alert and be vigilant when visiting the beach. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suggests several measures swimmers can take to minimize shark encounters.

- Stay close to the shore so it's easier for rescuers to reach you in case of an encounter.

- Don't isolate yourself; always swim in groups.

- Avoid areas with a heavy marine life presence, as it will attract hungry sharks. 

- Avoid dark, low-visibility waters and swimming during darkness or twilight hours.

- Avoid going into the water if you have an open wound or if you are menstruating.

- Don’t splash around.

- Avoid wearing shiny jewelry, as its reflection could resemble fish scales.

- Always pay attention to signs, warnings, and instructions from lifeguards.

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