Long Island

Long Island Exec Takes Ocean Plunge After Shark Safety Briefing

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Nassau County wants beachgoers to know it's "safe to swim."

County Executive Bruce Blakeman took his message to the beach Sunday, where he delivered brief remarks and tips to stay safe in the ocean before taking a dip himself.

He decided to lead by example after he said a reporter questioned him last week about whether he'd get in the water.

"I'm here today to stress that it is relatively safe to go in the water, but you have to take precautions," the Republican said.

The safety of Long Island swimmers has been top of mind for many after two recent shark bites involving lifeguards.

Shark attacks and dangerous rip currents have put beachgoers at risk in recent days, as the summer season heats up and more people flock the beaches. News 4's Romney Smith reports.

"If you're gonna go in the ocean, it's good to go with a partner. Always go on a protected beach where there are lifeguards, always stay together and be conscious of your surroundings," he said. "If you do those things, you will be safe."

The county has beefed up its shark patrols in recent years, covering the beach from the air with helicopters and drones, as well as watercraft and beach vehicles.

Blakeman wrapped his press conference with a brief dip at Nickerson Beach, joining dozens of merry swimmers enjoying a perfect beach day.

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