Shark attacks surfer near New York beach, authorities close swimming

A shark bit a man at Smith Point Beach

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A New York beach has been temporarily closed to swimming once again following another shark attack. 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone told reporters on Wednesday that the incident occurred at Smith Point Beach at around 7:30 a.m. ET. 

The victim, a 41-year-old man on a paddle board, suffered a 4-inch gash on his leg that was apparently from a sand tiger shark, which was identified by the victim.

The injury was not serious and lifeguards and a drone are monitoring the water. 

SHARK ACTIVITY NEAR EAST COAST BEACHES ON THE RISE

High waves produced by Hurricane Jose crash along the shore on September 20, 2017 at Long Island's Smith's Point Beach in Shirley, New York. 

High waves produced by Hurricane Jose crash along the shore on September 20, 2017 at Long Island's Smith's Point Beach in Shirley, New York.  (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)

"Swimming has been suspended at this time due to dangerous marine life activity on Wednesday, July 13, 2022," the county said in a statement. 

Bellone said no shark sightings have been confirmed in the area since the morning's attack and that Smith Point would reopen this afternoon if that remained the case.

Smith Point and Cupsogue beaches recently reopened after being forced to close earlier this month following previous incidents. 

Two lifeguards were bitten by sharks in Long Island waters – one during a water rescue training simulation.

Photo taken on July 5, 2022 shows a sand tiger shark in the Scientific Center aquarium, in Hawalli Governorate, Kuwait.

Photo taken on July 5, 2022 shows a sand tiger shark in the Scientific Center aquarium, in Hawalli Governorate, Kuwait. (Photo by Asad/Xinhua via Getty Images)

NEW YORK BEACHES REOPEN FOLLOWING LONG ISLAND SHARK ATTACK

Bellone stressed the importance of swimming near lifeguards – lifeguards were not yet on duty Wednesday morning – and called these attacks the new normal. 

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

A man carries his surfboard after surfing in the Atlantic Ocean along the beach in Long Beach, New York, May 9, 2022. 

A man carries his surfboard after surfing in the Atlantic Ocean along the beach in Long Beach, New York, May 9, 2022.  (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

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. 

Shark advocates also call for rebranding violent attacks as "interactions." 

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The U.S. recorded 47 unprovoked shark bites in 2021, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

That marks a 42% increase from 33 incidents reported in 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.