Holiday Beachgoers Cautious After Shark Sighting Off Long Island Beach

Long Island beaches are packed this holiday weekend, but with a shark sighting in the surf two days ago, many people are being cautious as they dive in. 

The shark was spotted about 60 yards off shore at Overlook Beach. Lifeguard Mallory Grempel said it was the first time in her 11 years at the beach that she's seen a shark in those waters.

"It was a little nerve-wracking, but as lifeguards, we are trained professionals," she said.

Grempel and the team of lifeguards cleared the waters and closed three beaches for about an hour.

Joe Yaiullo of Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead said shark sightings are to be expected with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashing on the southern shore of the island. 

"We are entering the water. We are entering their realm but we're not on the menu, though if we were they'd be lining the beaches," he said.

"We're loud, we're gangly, we're obnoxious creatures in the water," he added. "Sharks really don't want anything to do with us."

More people get injured and die driving to the beach than on the beach, Yaiullo said. 

Still, some beachgoers remained anxious Friday. 

"I was nervous to go in the water," Amanda Trexler of Lindenhurst said. "I clearly didn't go in the water today." 

Grempel said lifeguards are keep an extra close eye on the waters to make sure everything is safe. 

Experts said swimmers should avoid going in the water at dusk or dawn. If there are lots of bait fish around, get out of the water and don't wear shiny jewelry into the water, experts said.

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