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Despite Shark Sightings Around NYC, Expert Says They Are Not Much Risk To Humans

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Is it "shark week" in the Big Apple?

Two separate sightings at city beaches have swimmers worried about what's in the water.

Sunny skies and soaring temperatures mean beach conditions are perfect for a swim, but recent shark sightings are making some beach-goers nervous, CBS2's Elise Finch reported Tuesday.

"I, like, don't feel safe," one woman said.

"I'm very nervous going into the water," a man added.

On Monday, a shark was spotted and reeled in by fishermen near Far Rockaway. On the same day a 100-pound, 7-foot hammerhead shark like was spotted in Brighton Beach. Biologist and shark expert Jim Gelsleichter said most sharks found in this area aren't much of threat to humans.

"Overall, the risk that sharks pose to the typical bather is very low," Gelsleichter said. "The hammerheads I've always found to be actually not as threatening as they look."

Experts say as our waterways become cleaner we'll see more and more marine life, some closer to our beaches, Finch reported.

"Wonderful! I think it's great that the marine life is what you call? Propagating? Making babies," one person said.

"So it's a good thing that there's sharks but bad because it's not safe," added Ethan Tlatelpa of Brooklyn.

Some confident swimmers said they still feel safe because they would never approach a shark.

"I read this book that sharks either eat very early in the morning or really late at night, so I feel like they're not going to touch you unless you provoke them," said Karyna Rudenko of Sheepshead Bay.

"We fear them; they fear us, so if we keep some distance we're all friends," another person said.

Scientists say never enter the water if you spot a shark. If you're swimming and you encounter one, get away from it quickly and keep an eye on it as you move away.

Experts say if you're being attacked by a shark, hit them in sensitive areas like the eyes, nose or gills until they release you.


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