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Nassau County steps up shark patrols for Fourth of July weekend

Nassau County increasing shark patrols for July 4th weekend
Nassau County increasing shark patrols for July 4th weekend 02:03

JONES BEACH, N.Y. - Nassau County is increasing shark patrols along its beaches for the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend. 

The Marine Bureau, helicopters and other resources will be on the lookout for sharks. 

CBS2's Jennifer McLogan has some safety advice for swimmers. 

"I want to stress again that shark attacks on Long Island are very rare, but we have to take precautions," said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman. 

Nassau County is teaming up with village, town and state shark patrols supplying aviation units overhead, supplemented by drones. The marine division is navigating nearby to assist lifeguards, and trained police patrol the sand with medics nearby. 

"Basically, when you have a weekend like the Fourth of July, it's all hands on deck," Blakeman said. 

McLogan asked a few beachgoers if they think about sharks. 

"Yeah, I mean, sharks are a big thing to be afraid of now," said Staten Island resident Skye Owen. 

"No. I come here every summer, and I swim without any care about sharks," said Queens resident Shovit Gill. 

Watch: Jones Beach crowded as July 4th weekend kicks off

Jones Beach crowded as July 4th weekend kicks off 01:56

Sharks are on the back burner, with a hot and steamy Fourth of July weekend kickoff. Families lathered on the sunscreen and sought relief. 

The Johnsons came in from the Bronx. 

"We heard it's supposed to be, like, 90 degrees today, and so we figured let's go to the beach," one said. 

"Build a castle and put my toes in the water," a child said.

There was a report that a 37-year-old man sustained a laceration to his foot at the beach while swimming Thursday, but it hasn't been confirmed if that was due to a shark or predatory fish.

Swimming near lifeguards is the word of the day, on the lookout for a rogue wave or rip current. Never swim alone, especially early and late. Although extremely rare, that is when predators can come close to shore, following fish bait, as one shark did on Memorial Day

"I'm not going swimming where I see people surfcasting ... Birds divebombing into the water. They are attracted by fish, and that is what they are going after," said Nassau County Police Chief Kevin Smith. 

Beachgoers taking precautions are concentrating not on sharks, but on celebrating a patriotic July 4th weekend. A massive fireworks display is set for Jones Beach Monday.

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