Saturday, August 13, 2022

THIRD SHARK ATTACK off the coast of New York: Lifeguard John Mullins is mauled by a tiger shark near Ocean Beach

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The series of incidents in which lifeguards and beachgoers in New York were attacked by sharks began in late June

Two lifeguards and a 57-year-old swimmer were manhandled in three separate shark attacks on popular beaches along the New York coast. The series of incidents began in late June and the most recent attack, on Thursday July 7, involved a lifeguard conducting a training exercise.

After a 57-year-old swimmer was attacked off Jones Beach, about 10 miles west of Ocean Beach, on Thursday, June 30, the other two subsequent shark attacks were aimed at lifeguards. While lifeguard John Mullins was mauled at Ocean Beach on July 7, lifeguard Zach Gallo was assaulted near Smith Point Beach on July 3.

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Mullins, 17, was attacked by a sand tiger shark around 11 a.m. during a lifeguard drill. He was about 150 feet offshore in Ocean Beach on Fire Island when the attack occurred, News 12 reports. He was rushed to South Shore University Hospital and received multiple stitches after the attack left him with foot injuries.

“I didn’t really feel the bite at first. My adrenaline shot up immediately,” he told the portal. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, I have to go.’ It was crazy. I thought it was chasing me, so I freaked out…” Mullins added. He is reportedly recovering from the injury but has a limp with his walking. “I’m looking forward to coming back. I will on Sunday be back and train again for the exam. I just hope I don’t get bitten again,” revealed the lifeguard.

After the attack, swimming was banned at Ocean Beach for an hour. “Please note that at 11:00 am on Thursday, July 7, our Ocean Beach Lifeguards reported a shark incident and activity in the marine area off Ocean Beach. Swimming is not permitted in the area until lifeguards have determined it is safe to swim. We thank you for your cooperation,” the statement read.

The village’s police chief, George Hess, said: “They have raised the purple flags, which is a warning of dangerous marine life. They now conduct inspections and leave the jet skis outside. You will make a decision shortly. I think people can now go up to their knees and ankles,” Newsday said. After swimming was allowed again, visitors were only allowed to go waist-deep in the water.

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In the previous attack on Sunday, July 3, at Smith Point Beach, lifeguard Zach Gallo was also completing a training exercise when he was bitten by a shark. He, too, was stitched up from the attack. The first in this series of shark attacks came when an unidentified 57-year-old man swimming off Jones Beach suffered injuries to his right foot, according to the Gothamist.

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