A National Geographic film crew is diving into what caused two children to be bitten in the waters off Fire Island, including one confirmed to be a shark bite, last month.
“When Sharks Attack” filmed at Robert Moses State Park Thursday and will film at an Atlantique beach Friday as the crew seeks to find explanations for the bites, which took place within 15 minutes of each other on July 18.
The show explores possible reasons for shark attacks across the world in an effort to prevent future incidents, the executive producers said.
“We’re going into their world” when humans go into the water, executive producer Ashley Hoppin said. “The more we understand those interactions, the better everyone will be.”
A 13-year-old boy was bitten in the leg in a confirmed shark bite at an Atlantique beach. A 12-year-old girl is believed to have been bitten by a shark minutes earlier at Sailors Haven. A day later, some Robert Moses swimming areas were briefly closed after a fisherman caught a shark.
The crew is interviewing people involved in the attacks, including the female victim and her father, as well as an Atlantique lifeguard and other first responders.
The crew of five on Thursday interviewed state parks police Sgt. Jim Harrer, who had operated a drone at Robert Moses on July 19 to make sure the coast was clear of sharks after the fisherman’s catch. The 16-year police veteran based in Albany said he never expected to be on TV – especially for such an unusual event.
“It was very interesting, and hopefully they make me look good and I’m a big superstar,” he joked.
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Beachgoers gawked as the crew filmed the drone fly and a lifeguard surf boat launch.
Alan Lakin of Hauppauge said seeing the crew made his beach trip “a lot more fun,” especially because the drone made him feel up to going for a swim.
“It makes you realize it’s a lot safer,” Lakin, 69, said of the ocean. “I haven’t been in the water since the last shark” bite.
The segment’s air date on Nat Geo Wild has not yet been set.