Swimmers at Ocean Beach in a file photo. A lifeguard...

Swimmers at Ocean Beach in a file photo. A lifeguard taking part in a training exercise in waters off the beach Thursday was bitten by a shark but is expected to make a full recovery, said Ocean Beach Mayor James Mallot.  Credit: Linda Rosier

A shark bit a lifeguard off Ocean Beach Thursday morning, possibly the third such attack in Long Island waters over the past week, officials said.

The lifeguard, who was bitten near his left foot, was expected to make a full recovery, according to Ocean Beach Mayor James Mallott. 

Ocean Beach officials banned swimming after the attack and bathers were only able to enter the water up to their ankles, Mallot said.

Friday morning, village police chief George Hess said lifeguards were checking the waters  until they determine whether the area is free of sharks.

"They have the purple flags up, which is a warning for dangerous sea life," Hess said, after speaking with the chief lifeguard. He added: "They are doing inspections now, and have the Jet Skis out. They will make a determination in a little while. I believe people can go up to their knees and ankles right now."

The lifeguard was about 150 to 200 yards off shore performing a training exercise about 11 a.m. when he said something bit him near his foot, according to Mallott said

He swam to shore and the Ocean Beach fire chief confirmed it was a shark bite, Suffolk County fire dispatchers said.  An ambulance took the lifeguard to a hospital where he was treated and released, Mallott said.

From threshers to great whites, here are some of the sharks you might find off LI. Credit: Gabriella Vukelic / Newsday

The number of sharks — typically more common in warmer waters — in proximity to Long Island swimmers is surprising considering ocean temperatures have been a relatively cool 64 degrees, he said.

"We've spotted a few of these little buggers in the water outside our jurisdiction," Mallott said.

A shark sighting Wednesday off the Fire Island shore led to the temporary closure of Davis Park Beach. No one was injured.

On Sunday, a shark bit a Suffolk lifeguard on the chest and hand as he took part in a training exercise drill off the shore of Smith Point County Park. The lifeguard, Zachari Gallo, was treated at a hospital and released.

And on June 30, a man swimming off Jones Beach was bitten on the foot, possibly by a shark.

Officials say shark attacks are extremely rare off Long Island, but shark activity has increased in local waters with warmer temperatures and an increased feeding pool of fish.

With Joan Gralla

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