Experts Say The Sharks Responsible For Recent Long Island Attacks Are Likely Just Confused Teens

Here's how you can avoid being mistaken for prey!

​A close up photo of a sand tiger shark.
Georgia Contributing Writer

A close up photo of a sand tiger shark.

Several shark attacks have been reported off the coast of Long Island, New York over the past two weeks.

One surfer was knocked off his paddle board on Wednesday and was bitten on the leg by a shark on Smith Point County Park beach. He escaped after punching the underwater predator.

A few hours later, another beach-goer sustain an injury when a 49-year-old man was bitten on the hand near Fire Island in waist-high water. After walking to shore, he was transported to a hospital via helicopter to receive medical attention.

The following day, Fire Island was closed due to another shark sighting until a drone survey confirmed the area was safe to reopen.

Experts say that despite the recent spree of shark-related injuries, the animals aren't targeting humans, reports GPB.

Instead, it is likely a case of juvenile sand tiger sharks attacking people on accident while pursuing their next meal — fish.

"Off the coast of Long Island there are lots of juvenile sand tiger sharks, a lot of them, and usually we don't have a problem with them. But as you've probably heard reported, a lot of the baitfish are actually closer in this year and there's a lot more. It's a statistical fact that sharks don't target people. If they did, we'd have about 10,000 bites a day," Florida Program for Shark Research Program Director Gavin Naylor told the publication.

Though it is statistically rare to encounter a shark attack, it is still important to understand safety measures in the event of an incident.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, you can decrease your risk of getting bitten by a shark by swimming during daylight hours, keeping close to shore, avoiding shiny or reflective jewelry, and staying away from murky waters with low visibility.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Maeve Browne
Georgia Contributing Writer
Maeve Browne is a Contributing Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on food and Internet trends and is based in Savannah, Georgia.