Several shark encounters and sightings were reported this week, from the East Coast to the Gulf Coast.
Five incidents that involved sharks or suspected sharks occurred Monday and Tuesday off New York, officials said. All victims survived.
At Fire Island, New York, a 15-year-old boy who was surfing early Monday evening was bitten by a shark on a heel and his toes, Suffolk County police said.
His heel and toes remained intact, and he was hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening, police said.
Also Monday, a 15-year-old girl sustained puncture wounds from an unknown source in the water off Robert Moses State Park in Babylon, New York, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said in a statement.
The girl was treated at the scene by paramedics, the agency said. The incident prompted authorities to deploy drones to patrol Robert Moses and Jones Beach state parks.
The drones recorded imagery of multiple sharks in the water off Long Island about 8 a.m. Tuesday. Officials said they were most likely sand tiger sharks, which can grow larger than 10 feet.
About 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, a 47-year-old man wading in the waters off Quogue, a village on Long Island, was bitten on his right knee and had lacerations, police said in a statement.
The man didn’t see what attacked him. Quogue police said in a statement that “the bite was from a larger marine animal.”
The beachgoer was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, police said. After the incident, authorities said they encouraged visitors to stay out of the water.
Minutes after that attack, a man swimming off the Fire Island Pines hamlet on Fire Island was bitten on his right hand by a shark, Suffolk County police said.
The 49-year-old man was taken to the hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, police said.
A few hours later, at Sailors Haven beach on Fire Island, a woman believed to be about 50 was bitten, according to Nick Clemons of Fire Island National Seashore.
National Park Service lifeguards responded, and Suffolk County police took her to a hospital for treatment of a minor injury, Clemons said in a statement.
Shark sightings were also reported in Florida.
On Monday, a woman recorded video that showed a shark circling in shallow, warm waters off Navarre Beach, where many who had waded into the water turned the other way and fled.
Another video showed a hammerhead shark gliding near a stand-up paddleboard rider off Surfside, a South Florida town on the Atlantic coast.
To help reduce the chance of a shark encounter, experts say to avoid wearing bright clothing or shiny jewelry. If a shark is seen, “stay calm and maintain your position in as quiet a manner as possible,” according to the Florida Museum, the home of the International Shark Attack File.
“Most sharks merely are curious and will leave on their own accord,” it says.
But if they do move closer, flee, and if that doesn’t work, fight, experts say. The museum says to hit a shark on the tip of its nose if necessary.
Earlier this year, the shark attack file found that New York’s eight unprovoked attacks last year were an annual record for the state, which had reported only 12 such attacks since 1837.
The file said young sand tiger sharks are attracted to the Long Island and Fire Island areas because of their protective bays. Most of the bites in Long Island last year may have occurred as those sharks were drawn closer to shore seeking baitfish, it said.
Despite those incidents, the number of unprovoked attacks decreased in 2022 to tie with 2020 for the fewest reported incidents worldwide in the last 10 years, according to the file.