After decades without a shark attack off Long Island, two children were bitten within minutes of each other on Wednesday. A 12-year-old girl was bitten around noon at Sailors Haven beach on Fire Island, a Long Island barrier island, and a 13-year-old boy was bitten at Atlantique beach, nearly 5 miles away, at around the same time, NJ.com reports. These are the first Long Island shark attacks since 1948, according to the Long Island Press. Neither child suffered life-threatening injuries, but all Fire Island beaches were closed until further notice as a precaution.
The boy was out on his boogie board when he was bitten, authorities say. The bite left a tooth in the boy's leg, which was extracted and sent for analysis to find out what kind of shark it was. Witnesses believe it was a sandbar shark around 2 feet long. The girl says she was attacked when she was waist-deep in the water. The town of Islip has closed all its ocean-facing beaches. "We're seeing this as an opportunity to remind everyone the water is beautiful, it is magnificent here on the South Shore of Long Island, but the water is treacherous," town supervisor Angie Carpenter tells NBC 4. "We need to be careful at all times."