Long Island

6 Signs You May Be in Shark-Infested Waters

Under state guidelines, swimming is suspended following a shark sighting so the shoreline can be inspected. It can resume after an hour with no further sightings or findings

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You've probably heard about the series of shark incidents -- and a handful of bites endured -- on Long Island beaches.

None of the injuries have been too serious, but there have been what feels like a whole lot of way too-close encounters with the toothed fish kind in recent weeks. Swimmers, surfers and lifeguards alike are being told to stay hypervigilant.

At least one of the people recently bitten talked about punching the shark -- over and over again -- in a desperate effort to get away. It's a recommended last-ditch maneuver when one finds oneself in that kind of danger.

A better tip? Try avoiding it in the first place. That seems to be the underlying motto of the shark safety tips shared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday.

Want to minimize your risk of shark interactions? Avoid, avoid, avoid.

  • Avoid areas with seals
  • Avoid areas where people are fishing
  • Avoid swimming in the ocean at dusk, dawn or nighttime
  • Avoid murky water
  • Avoid isolation. Swim, paddle, kayak and surf in groups
  • Avoid areas with schools of bait fish. Those spots often look like they have fish splashing on the surface, diving sea birds or the presence of marine mammals like dolphins

One more pro tip: Swim close to shore, where your feet can touch the bottom. And always adhere to beach signage as well as lifeguard and park staff instruction, the state recommends.

Under State Park guidelines, a reported shark sighting immediately suspends swimming so the shoreline can be inspected by drone. If there are no further sightings or findings for at least an hour, swimming can resume.

All sightings are referred to the Long Island Coastal Awareness Group, comprised of 180 individuals from municipalities, agencies, and private beach operators stretching from Queens through Long Island.

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