A tiger shark bit a paddle-boarder off the coast of a New York beach on Wednesday after a lifeguard suffered a similar injury just 10 days ago, according to CBS News.
Officials reportedly closed Smith Point County Park in Long Island after a 4-foot shark bit the man, 41, who was not identified, on Wednesday morning. The gash in his leg was about 4 inches long, and emergency medics took him to a hospital.
In addition to closing the beach and prohibiting swimming at it, officials also posted signs warning future beachgoers about dangerous marine life, CBS News reported.
The incident occurred after a shark bit a lifeguard during a training exercise at Smith Point Park on July 3, leading to the closure of two beaches.
Experts attribute the unprecedented rise in shark sightings off the Long Island beach — which had averaged roughly one attack per decade for the past 100 years — to conservation efforts as well as climate change, according to NPR. Cleaner waters are reportedly attracting Atlantic menhaden, a baitfish whose predators including sharks, while sharks are also coming closer to beaches due to warmer waters.
Christopher Paparo, manager of Stony Brook University’s Marine Sciences Center, reportedly told Newsday.
“There are a lot more sharks than 10 or 15 years ago,” said Paparo, citing the cleaner waters. “We’re spotting sharks, whales and dolphins here. In the 60s, we did not have sharks, whales and dolphins.”
Paparo reportedly added: “I think we’ll have a sighting every week or two [this summer]. … Hopefully, no bites.”
The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Sharktivity App noted four great white shark sightings off the East Coast between Monday and Wednesday, according to The Sun. They included an 11-foot great white.
The app also noted the sighting of a great white shark eating a seal, according to the Boston Herald.