Hamptons Sharks Appear Harmless: Expert

Thursday, Jun 2, 2011  |  Updated 7:25 AM EDT
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Sharks were spotted close to the shore at a Hamptons beach Tuesday. [Raw video]

Sharks were spotted close to the shore at a Hamptons beach Tuesday. [Raw video]

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A marine expert says the sharks spotted off a Hamptons beach on eastern Long Island appear to pose little threat. But just in case, the beach is still closed to swimmers.     

Chris Paparo of Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead says that, based on photos, this week's visitors appear to be basking sharks. They eat plankton and generally don't harm humans.

He says they typically appear off Long Island as summer approaches.     



Deputy Suffolk County Parks Commissioner Tracey Bellone said as many as five shark fins were spotted Wednesday. A department employee estimated that one shark was 16 to 20 feet long.     

The first sightings were made on Tuesday at Cupsogue Beach County Park, near West Hampton Dunes.     


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