July has been a busy month for sharks, as there were three shark attacks in Long Island. Two of the attacks were on lifeguards. What’s most shocking is that both lifeguards played a victim in the water when attacked. They were not swimming or on surfboards, just staying still in the water.
The first lifeguard was attacked last Saturday at Smith Point, during the July 4th weekend. Zachari Gallo, a Special Ed teacher, was training with other lifeguards when he felt pressure on his hand. He started punching at the water a few times until the shark let go and turned around. According to the lifeguard, the shark was probably about four to five feet long. His injuries were minor and required two stitches and antibiotics.
On Thursday morning, a 17-year-old was attacked by another shark. John Mullins was training to be a lifeguard at Ocean Beach on Fire Island when he felt something on his foot. When he pulled his foot away, he said, “it kind of just felt like a scrape, like a rake going up my foot.” When he was attacked, he was only 150 feet away from the shore. The teen is said to recover fully and will return to lifeguard duty when his foot is better.
Healthier Oceans for Sharks
According to the experts, these recent shark bites might be a good thing. The rise in shark sightings means warmer water temperatures and cleaner oceans. Drones can see more and spot them better as well. Sharks are scavengers, and they help keep the oceans cleaner. Smaller sharks are usually seen close to shores and help balance prey species.
We should not be afraid of sharks since that creates a frenzy like it did after the 1975 Jaws movie. This lead to shark killings and a decline in the shark population, which are essential for a healthy ecosystem. If you’re afraid to go back to the waters after these shark attacks in Long Island, watch SharkFest and wait for Shark Week. While the exact shark species was not mentioned, Long Island is known for Sandbar sharks and sand tiger sharks.