Third and Fourth of July Shark Bite Incidents on Fire Island

Incorporated Village of Saltaire first responders.

Photo by Beth Batkiewicz

SUFFOLK COUNTY POLICE MARINE BUREAU was among several agencies to respond to the report of a teen surfer being bitten by a shark off the ocean waters of Kismet at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Monday, July 3, 2023. The 15-year-old victim, who had injuries to his left heel and toes, was able to swim back to shore where he was met by Incorporated Village of Saltaire lifeguards, who were first to arrive on the scene.

The young surfer was given initial first aid by the lifeguards, until care was taken over by Kismet Fire Department EMS crews, who trans- ported him to Good Samaritan University Hospital in West Islip with non-life-threatening injuries.

A second unrelated possible shark attack took place earlier in the day, further west on Fire Island by Robert Moses beach, off the coast of Field 3. The injured party in this instance was female, also 15 years of age, who suffered shark-like puncture injuries to her left leg at about 1:45 p.m. However, drone patrol performed by Robert Moses State Park lifeguards found no evidence of sharks in the area and they reopened the beach to swimming after a 45-minute closure. The young woman also received treatment for her injuries and is recovering.

The following day, Suffolk County Police additionally confirmed that a 49-year-old man suffered a shark bite in his right hand while swimming off-shore of Fire Island Pines at 1:55 p.m. on the Fourth of July holiday. The swimmer was taken to an area hospital, also with non-life-threatening injuries, becoming the third marine life bite incident on Fire Island over a 24-hour period.