“While we shouldn’t be afraid to swim and take advantage of all the recreational activities Long Island has to offer, we should also be vigilant and informed,” said Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter joined town officials, a veteran marine lifeguard and a NYS DEC marine biologist at a news conference to discuss the recent Fourth of July holiday Shark encounters on Fire Island and surrounding beaches over the weekend.

“Days like today really make you want to get on a boat, head to the beach, and really enjoy the water and all that our island communities have to offer. But if this past weekend was any kind of sobering reminder, Long Island and The beauty of its surrounding waters is not something we can enjoy alone. We share it with the animals and it is home to them. While we shouldn’t be afraid to swim and take advantage of all the usual recreational activities that keep us on Long Island Growing up has become so memorable, but we should also be vigilant and aware of best practices for doing so wisely,” said Director Angie Carpenter.

Alex Schicilone, a senior marine lifeguard who has worked in the town of Islip for 33 years, said the possibility of shark encounters had not been an issue on a daily basis until recent years. “When you go to the beach, you should always be aware of the beach rules. You have to be aware of your current conditions, whether it’s the weather or the beach conditions, especially if there’s any rip currents that day, and you’re aware that … you should always, always be on the lifeguard Swimming in zone, that’s extremely important. Obviously, never swim alone, and you should always be working in a buddy system no matter your swimming skill level,” says Skisillon.

“We expect to see sharks in New York every year from June to September, usually in the summer months. There are 13 different species of sharks here and they have migrated from the south. These animals live in their natural habitat. They are wild Animals, swimmers should take precautions and be aware of surroundings when entering water. Listen to lifeguards. Do not go where there are schools of bait fish or splash fish. Do not enter at dusk, dawn or at night…if the water is cloudy, There could be an increased chance of encounter because the shark may misidentify prey,” said Christopher Scott, a New York state marine biologist.

“If you see a shark, please stay calm, exit the water slowly, keep an eye on the shark and alert the lifeguards to what you saw,” Scott said.

Image credit: Town of Islip

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