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Hochul calls for more shark monitoring off of Long Island’s coast

Don McCullough
Long Island beaches increase shark monitoring by using drones

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is directing state agencies to increase shark monitoring at Long Island beaches. There have been at least five shark attacks in the last two weeks on Long Island.

There were two shark attacks last Wednesday at Smith Point Beach and Seaview Beach. There’s also been a shark attack at Ocean Beach. None of the victims were seriously injured.

Hochul said Jones Beach, Robert Moses and Hither Hills State Parks will all use drone technology. Surveillance capabilities at these beaches will expand from the current four miles to 11 miles.

“We can notify people of the presence of sharks,” Hochul said. “As soon as they're detected, red flags go up on the beach and people are to clear the water for at least an hour. That way we can protect people with an earlier notification, and it's a more coordinated effort as well as adding more lifeguards to the beaches for surveillance.”

State Parks will increase lifeguard staffing through overtime at ocean beaches by 25 percent. There will be 2-4 lifeguards at each area.

Park Police will also increase patrol boats to search the water. State Police helicopters will fly over the South Shore beaches, and several agencies will be deployed to educate beachgoers on shark safety.

To reduce shark encounters, beachgoers are told to avoid swimming in the ocean at dusk, dawn and overnight, avoid murky water, swim close to shore, swim in groups and always follow the instructions of lifeguards and parks staff.

Natalie is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.