New York beaches closed for swimmers after shark sightings
New York, New York - Rockaway beaches were closed for swimming Tuesday after sharks were spotted off the coast of the Queens shoreline – shutting off access to New Yorkers seeking relief from scorching temperatures.
The Parks Department cleared the water just before 2:00 PM after multiple sightings, a spokesperson said, adding it will reopen beaches to swimmers when it's safe to do so.
The NYPD's aviation unit was monitoring for further shark activity. The boardwalk remained open, police said in a tweet.
There's no respite from the heat with shark sightings plaguing the coast. The National Weather Service issued an advisory as a heat wave descends over the city and the surrounding area.
Forecasters warn there'll be scorching temperatures with a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday for the metro area – and that the heat index could feel like 100. The heat and humidity is expected to linger into Thursday.
On Sunday, about a mile stretch of ocean from Beach Ninth St. to Beach 29th St. was closed after sharks were spotted in the water. Swimmers were back in the water about two hours later, officials said.
State agencies will increase patrols
On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced state agencies will increase patrols and shark monitoring at Long Island beaches after a wave of sightings and attacks off the South Shore.
Beachgoers can expect to see increased patrol boats and lifeguards along Long Island beaches, as well as drones and helicopters keeping an eye out for any underwater animal predators.
"We are taking action to expand patrols for sharks and protect beachgoers from potentially dangerous situations," Hochul said in a statement. "I encourage all New Yorkers to listen to local authorities and take precautions to help ensure safe and responsible beach trips this summer."
Cover photo: 123RF/hunterkitty