Swimmers were pulled out of the water at Point Lookout, Lido Beach and Nickerson Beach after the Town of Hempstead lifeguards spotted a shark 25 yards off Lido Beach, Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Swimmers at three South Shore beaches were pulled from the water Thursday after Town of Hempstead lifeguards spotted a shark 25 yards off Lido Beach.

Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said the shark, estimated to be 6-to-7 feet in length, was spotted at about 10:45 a.m., prompting officials to pull out swimmers at Point Lookout, Lido and Nickerson beaches.

By afternoon, bathers were allowed back into the water — but only for "waist-deep" swimming at Point Lookout and Lido Beach and "knee-deep" swimming at Nickerson, officials said.

"It’s a bad combination: we have the heat wave, the pandemic and sharks," Clavin said, calling it "an unfortunate trifecta."

Clavin said lifeguards and Jet Ski safety patrol officials known as "The Shark Patrol," were monitoring.

Longtime town lifeguard Frank Falcone said five lifeguards had "positively identified" the shark, which he said appearing to be chasing baitfish in the area.

Clavin said sightings have been numerous the past two summers, with bull sharks seen last year and blackfin sharks this year. He said there have also been sightings at South Shore beaches, including Jones Beach and Long Beach and said just last week there were four shark sightings in the Rockaways.

"This is really just about safety," Clavin said.

While bathers were hardly enthralled by the situation, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tried to put the best face on the situation, sharing this tweet on her official Twitter account: "Sink your teeth into this: today's shark [with a shark emoji] sighting off Lido Beach marks the 20th confirmed sighting off Nassau's beaches so far this summer. That's three more than what Nassau recorded at the same point last year. That's JAW(s) dropping."

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