Long Island adds shark patrols after man bitten; Tri-State beaches gear up for July 4

The weather looks to be perfect for the July 4 holiday weekend, meaning beaches across the Tri-State Area are expected to be packed.

It’s great for shore businesses as they continue to recover from pandemic shutdowns, and as the summer season officially kicks into high gear.

As tens of thousands of people head to beaches on Long Island, police ramping up their patrols for sharks.

The added patrols come after a possible shark bite Thursday, with Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman saying a 37-year-old man was bit on the leg in the waters off Jones Beach.

“Our beaches are really what attract people to Long Island, so we are definitely increasing our patrols,” Blakeman said. “We’re upping our game to make sure everybody is safe.”

The added measures include marine patrols on boats, a helicopter, and and also a drone.

“We will have drones throughout Long Island state park beaches,” said George Gorman, Long Island Regional Director, New York State Office of Parks. “When we have an issue, when we see a potential problem or report a potential problem, we will get those drones up in the air and we will survey the beaches and we will make sure everyone is safe.”

The towns of Oyster Bay, Hempstead and North Hempstead have bay constables who will work with Nassau County police officers.

Blakeman said shark incidents on Long Island are very rare, but he still warned swimmers to be careful.

“I want to stress to everybody that it is safe to go into the ocean, however, just like crossing the street, you have to take precautions,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. “One of the precautions that we’re taking in Nassau County are increasing our patrols of the waters around Nassau County, especially on the ocean.”

Meanwhile, businesses at the Jersey Shore are getting ready for the busy holiday weekend.

Shop owners along the beaches and boardwalks say this summer already feels more normal compared to the last two years.

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