BABYLON, N.Y. -- Suffolk County and East End beaches are keeping a close watch on the water after more shark sightings.
There were two new reports of bites Tuesday that follow.
It was high alert on beaches across Long Island. Lifeguards responded immediately with waverunners, surfboards, sand carts and binoculars to an early morning spectacle: Sharks circling below with drones above.
Robert Moses State Park Field 3 delayed the beach opening for an hour and a half.
"This morning, prior to lifeguards going on duty and our authorizing swimming, we had a complete drone patrol. And right here in front of Field 3, we saw a school of sharks. There were approximately 50 sand sharks there. We reacted to that, we did not authorize swimming. About an hour and a half later, we had not seen the sharks. So therefore we reopened to swimming. But then, a few minutes ago, just east of us in Field 4, a couple of sharks were spotted. So we again prohibited swimming, and got everybody off the beaches," Charles Gorman, New York State Parks Regional Director said.
The sharks were feeding on bunker and bait fish a bit too close to the shoreline.
"I'm not going to go in the water today," one person said. "I'm a chicken."
Hesitant because nearby Fire Island National Seashore was the site of two shark attacks. A 15-year-old boy surfing Monday evening off Kismet suffered bites to his left heel and toes. Tuesday, a 49-year-old man in Fire Island Pines was bitten in the hand. Both were hospitalized.
At the Quogue Village beach, a 47-year-old man suffered a laceration to the knee, and at Robert Moses, a teen girl felt teeth grabbing her lower left leg.
Fish or shark?
"Right here, Field 3 Robert Moses State Park, a girl was bitten. She had three puncture wounds," Gorman said.
The injuries were minor. But is this the new normal?
"It's part of the life cycle of the ocean. There are dolphins, sharks, whales, schools of fish, just doing what they do," Lifeguard Capt. Josh Friedman said.
"They're cute," 7-year-old Liam Givans said. "And sometimes they are not harmful."
"I will surf, boogie board, whatever. I'm not scared. We have great lifeguards here," 16-year-old Dylan Greenwood said.
"That's nature and maybe we are taking over their domain and they don't like it," said 90-year-old Diana Fratello.
These mark the first possible shark attacks off Long Island this year. During the summer of 2022,.
Over the previous 150 years, only about a dozen shark attacks were reported.
for more features.