2 children suffer bites in possible shark attacks

Girl, boy bitten in water off Fire Island

Girl, boy bitten in water off Fire Island

Two children swimming in surf miles apart along NY state's Fire Island national seashore have suffered puncture wounds to their legs in what are thought to be the first shark attacks in 70 years, authorities said.

Islip town officials initially confirmed that the boy's bite was indeed a shark attack, but later issued a statement saying that the 13-year-old was bit by "what may possibly have been a shark". In that case, 12-year-old Lola Pollina was bitten and suffered a wound to her leg. Warning: Graphic photo She was able to walk to shore with assistance from her dad before she was taken to the hospital.

All Islip town beaches will be open this morning following suspected shark attacks on two children Wednesday.

"Once we figured it out it was pretty surreal", he said. "I think it was a shark attack", he said at a press conference.

Separately, a tiger shark seven feet long (2.2 metres) was caught by a fisherman at Kismet, another beach town two miles west of Islip, Levine said.

Rogers said the bite marks seen on the victim's leg were consistent with a large fish.

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"I saw something, like, next to me, and I kind of felt pain, and looked and I saw a fin", she said, recounting how she realised her leg was "all bloody" as she scurried from the water.

Marine life experts say cleaner ocean waters in NY are making conditions ripe for the sea life sharks like to eat, attracting them to areas closer to the shoreline. "We're seeing this as an opportunity to remind everyone that the water is lovely - its magnificent here on the south shore of Long Island, but treacherous". Bathers were allowed to return to the water after the lifeguard sighting was confirmed to be a sandbar shark.

"I am relieved that both teenagers who were attacked have been released from the hospital", Mr Cuomo said.

Both beaches were temporarily closed.

The tooth specimen, which is "consistent with a large fish", was being studied by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which will report its findings to the Suffolk County Marine Bureau, Rogers said.

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