Long Island beaches closed after possible shark sightings

Long Island beaches closed after possible shark sightings
FILE PHOTO: A stretch of Long Island beaches were closed Monday after possible shark sightings. (Free-Images.com/Free-Images.com)

NEW YORK — A stretch of Long Island beaches were closed Monday after possible shark sightings. 

Red flags were raised after a lifeguard patrolling on a surf board spotted a shark around 11:30 a.m., WCBS reported

“It came out, spun out of the water, spun around, didn’t look like a dolphin fin,” lifeguard Logan Fitzgerald said. “Definitely a shark.”

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Officials believe it was a nearly 12-foot bull shark swimming within about 10 feet of people. Beaches were closed for 13 miles then reopened for wading, only to be closed again around 3 p.m. after a second bull shark sighting, WNBC reported

“This is something we haven’t seen down here in a number of years,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin told WCBS. “Size of it was a concern. The staff haven’t seen a shark this size in quite a long time, if ever, and this is just out of an abundance of caution to the residents for their safety.”

There has been an increase in shark activity. Three thresher sharks were seen over the weekend, WCBS reported. A large sting ray washed ashore, WNBC reported.

“There’s whales, dolphins and this is just something else that’s in the ocean that we have to be aware of and know it’s out there,” Mike Romano, Hempstead chief lifeguard, told WCBS. “A bull shark in this territory, this far north, we take of concern.”