During Lifeguard Training Exercise, Shark Attacked

Lifeguard had been playing the role of a victim on Long Island beach
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2022 12:05 AM CDT
During Lifeguard Training Exercise, Shark Attacked
Smith Point Beach is seen in this stock photo   (Getty Images / Joseph Trentacosti)

(Newser) – Suffolk County officials closed a Long Island beach to swimming Sunday after what they described as an unprecedented shark attack that injured a lifeguard. The lifeguard, identified by CBS New York as Zachari Gallo, had been playing the role of a victim during a training exercise when the shark bit him in the chest and hand, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a Sunday afternoon news conference. The attack happened about 10:15am at Smith Point Beach. Bellone described Gallo as in "very good spirits," and Gallo did indeed seem that way in comments to CBS: "Couple of stitches. They cleaned it up, they took X-rays, made sure there wasn't any tooth particles or anything like that," Gallo said.

"If you're going to have an encounter with a shark, this is probably the best scenario you could have," Bellone said, adding Gallo received immediate treatment from other officials already engaged in the training. "We have never had an incident like this occur. Hopefully we never will again." Bellone said there was an additional shark sighting following the attack, though it was not clear whether it was the same shark, reports the AP. The one who attacked was estimated to be 4 to 5 feet long, per Newsday. The beach is expected to reopen Monday with officials monitoring the water for sharks. Gallo, a 10-year lifeguard veteran who is married with an infant, hopes to be back on the job soon.

(Read more shark attack stories.)

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