New York lifeguard returns to work after shark attack

Shark sightings closed a Nassau County beach on Thursday

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

A New York lifeguard has returned to work after suffering a shark bite earlier this month off the coast of Long Island. 

Zach Gallo, 33, was attacked by a shark during a July 3 lifeguard training drill at Smith Point Beach. Gallo required stitches for injuries he said were minor.

However, he noted that such incidents are very rare and that he had "just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time" with a "curious animal."

"I mean, we are entering their world, and we have to respect the ocean, respect that that’s their world," Gallo added.

NEW YORK SHARK ATTACK OFF LONG ISLAND MARKS FIFTH IN 2 WEEKS

"Welcome back Zach!" Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone tweeted Thursday. "Lifeguard Zach Gallo is back in the water today at Smith Point County Beach after being bit last week during a training exercise. It is lifeguards like Zach, and all of our county lifeguards, that continue to keep our beaches and swimmers safe."

Speaking at the same press event, Bellone told reporters – echoing previous comments – that it is very possible that the multiple attacks around area beaches are the new normal.

However, he reassured residents that officials are monitoring waters closely – implementing enhanced surveillance.

People walk along the beach as high waves produced by Hurricane Jose crash along the beach on Sept. 20, 2017 at Long Island's Smith's Point Beach in Shirley, New York.

People walk along the beach as high waves produced by Hurricane Jose crash along the beach on Sept. 20, 2017 at Long Island's Smith's Point Beach in Shirley, New York. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)

Attacks around Long Island have been reported since late June, two of which occurred on Wednesday. 

The incidents have closed beaches to swimming, including Smith Point Beach. 

SHARK ATTACKS SURFER NEAR NEW YORK BEACH, AUTHORITIES CLOSE SWIMMING

Shark attacks on Long Island, New York this summer

Shark attacks on Long Island, New York this summer (Credit: Fox News)

Afternoon shark sightings on Thursday closed Nassau County's Tobay Beach.

While shark attacks are usually rare, more sharks are being spotted off Long Island. 

Scientists cite warming ocean temperatures and a resurgence of bunker fish for the shift in sightings. Experts say the increase in the number of sharks is a sign that conservation efforts have been successful. 

In Fort Pierce, Florida, FOX 35 reported that a video has gone viral on Facebook of two manatees stealing a boy's surfboard.

A manatee swims among seagrass in the Homosassa River on Oct. 5, 2021 in Homosassa, Florida. 

A manatee swims among seagrass in the Homosassa River on Oct. 5, 2021 in Homosassa, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Manatees, an imperiled species, also seem to be curious about items in their environment, often exploring them with their flippers or mouths, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Farther down the East Coast, the Sunshine State has also seen recent shark attacks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.