An unfounded report of a shark sighting caused swimmers at Robert Moses State Park to be ordered out of the water for nearly a half-hour Sunday to allow authorities to search the area by helicopter, according to park employees.
No injuries were reported.
Park employees who answered phones at the facility but declined to give their names said the report was made about 12:55 p.m. and that by about 1:15 the waters were reopened.
George Gorman, deputy regional director for New York State parks, said in a telephone interview from Sunday's Suffolk County Marathon at Heckscher State Park in East Islip, that he had few details because he was attending the marathon during the time of the reported sighting and the evacuation of the water but he did confirm the sighting report.
Gorman said swimmers were ordered out of the water by lifeguards, who blew their whistles and pulled some swimmers to shore.
"There was a reported shark sighting and the park police were called, and they called Suffolk County police," Gorman said. Gorman said a Suffolk County police helicopter was dispatched and an overhead search of the area conducted, but no shark was seen in the area.
"They checked the water and did not see anything so we reopened," Gorman said.
There were very few swimmers at the time of the shark sighting report, Gorman said.
"It was raining this morning [Sunday] and there were overcast skies so there were not that many people at the park or swimming," Gorman said.
Robert Moses State Park lies in southern Suffolk County on the western end of Fire Island.
The park, located on Robert Moses State Parkway in Babylon Town, is the oldest state park on Long Island.