Beachgoers in the Empire State were out in full force during the 4th of July holiday — and so, apparently, were sharks. According to ABC News, 5 suspected shark bites were recorded on Long Island over a two-day span. On July 3, one shark bite was reported at Robert Moses State Park and one at Kismet Beach. Then, on July 4, police responded to three possible shark bites off the island’s South Shore.
The shark attacks were serious — but none of them proved fatal. The first attack on the 4th of July involved a 47-year-old man swimming in chest-deep water. He was bitten on the knee and suffered severe lacerations. In the second incident, a 49-year-old man was bitten on the hand. And in the third incident, a woman was bitten on the upper thigh. All of the victims received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries at local hospitals. The shark species responsible for the attacks were not immediately clear, though officials did spot 50 sand sharks swimming at Robert Moses State Park yesterday morning.
The spate of shark bites comes about a year since Field & Stream reported on a rise in shark—and other marine wildlife—sightings off the coast of Long Island. At the time, officials said the rise in shark reports was a positive sign for conservation efforts, though they coincided with a rise in shark attacks, often involving juvenile sharks.
The rise in shark sightings prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul to deploy additional drones to monitor sharks near Long Island Beaches. One such drone was responsible for detecting the 50 sand sharks at Robert Moses State Park on July 4.
Despite the recent rash of incidents, shark attacks remain relatively rare. According to the International Shark Attack File, in 2022 there were 41 unprovoked shark attacks in the United States. Only one of those attacks was fatal. Florida recorded the highest number of unprovoked shark attacks; New York was second.