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Officials: Nickerson Beach reopened after Saturday shark sighting

Nassau police patrol Zach's Bay after a possible

Nassau police patrol Zach's Bay after a possible shark sighting on Saturday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nickerson Beach reopened to swimming Sunday after closing Saturday along with Lido Town Park beach when three sharks were spotted off Point Lookout and Atlantic Beach.

Lifeguards saw the first shark about 1:15 p.m. off Point Lookout, closing swimming at the there as well as Lido and Nickerson beaches.

It was unclear Sunday morning whether Lido Town park beach was reopened.

Hempstead Town lifeguards spotted a large dark fin in the water, which appeared to be on a shark hunting prey, Hempstead Town spokesman Mike Caputo said. Lifeguards saw the fin and a large splash, sending several swimmers running out of the water, Caputo said. 

The town's water scootershark patrol was canvassing the area looking for the shark and the fish they generally feed on, he said, adding that a large group of rays was found in the water. 

A shark was sighted off Long Beach, according to Mike Fricchione, a Nassau County spokesman,

The shark sighting was not seen on city beaches, but lifeguards closed swimming at Long Beach for about an hour before it was reopened at 5 p.m., according to city spokesman John McNally.

Nassau County police have been conducting helicopter and boat patrols along the South Shore daily after nearly a dozen shark sightings between Point Lookout, Lido Beach, Long Beach and Atlantic Beach since Monday. 

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran appeared on the Fox News Channel on Saturday afternoon to say the patrols would continue to protect beachgoers and swimmers in the water.

“This is just another day in 2020. We’ve managed the pandemic, we’re preparing for a hurricane and monitoring sharks in the waters,” Curran said. “This is not a reason to freak out. We’re monitoring it closely with our choppers and marine boats.”

Swimming was prohibited at Atlantic Beach after lifeguards reported a shark at about 1:30 p.m. Lifeguards blew their whistles and waved everyone out of the water, Mayor George Pappas said.

Long Beach officials are limiting swimming to waist-deep water and deployed water scooters to search for sharks. The city is periodically closing off the water while water scooter patrols  scan the coastline, city officials said.

Nassau police could not locate a shark reported Saturday morning in Zachk's Bay, the inlet at Jones Beach State Park, a Nassau police spokesman. Police sent a helicopter to scan the waters, along with boat patrols, shortly after 8 a.m., but the shark sighting could not be confirmed. 

Zach's Bay, located just north of the Northwell Health Theater at Jones Beach, is popular with young families as its waters are calmer than the ocean.

Hempstead and Nassau County beaches in Lido Beach and Point Lookout earlier had limited swimming to waist- to knee-deep water Saturday after 11 shark sightings were reported off Long Island this week.

Lifeguards had spotted a shark Friday afternoon off Lido Beach Town Park, which restricted swimming. With Joan Gralla

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