Rockaway Beach closed Tuesday after woman seriously injured in shark attack; Jones Beach also closed
Rockaway and Jones beaches are closed to swimmers Tuesday.
A 65-year-old woman suffered an apparent shark bite Monday evening at Rockaway Beach, and there was a shark sighting near the shore of Jones Beach Tuesday morning.
Police responded to Beach 59th Street and Rockaway Beach just before 6 p.m. Monday.
The woman was standing in the water when she felt a sharp pain in her left leg, causing her to fall backward into the water.
Officials say the victim is in serious, but stable condition at Jamaica Hospital. She was identified as a Queens resident.
The Parks Department now working with the NYPD and the FDNY to beef up drone surveillance. They didn’t see any sharks Monday night, but it was a scary situation for beachgoers.
“Everybody was leaving the beach and they were just like, ‘Don’t get in the water,’ and I was like, ‘What happened?’ Somebody got bit by a shark,” one beachgoer said.
Experts say shark bites are extremely rare, with only 57 unprovoked bites last year, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File.
The shark bite occurred amid a rise in shark sightings at New York City and Long Island beaches due to factors including improved water quality and thriving populations of the bunker fish that sharks feed on.
Monday’s shark bite at Rockaway Beach was the first reported in recent memory, the parks department said.
There have been at least five instances of sharks biting swimmers and surfers at Long Island beaches this summer. There have been no fatalities.
Officials say Rockaway Beach will be closed to swimming and surfing on Tuesday due to the shark activity. Parks Enforcement & NYPD will be on patrol to keep swimmers out of the water. FDNY & NYPD will be doing aerial surveillance to monitor for sharks.
Track shark activity here.