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Two sharks spotted at Tobay Beach, closing waters to swimmers for about 90 minutes

A Bay Constable boat patrols waters off Tobay

A Bay Constable boat patrols waters off Tobay Beach on Thursday, July 23, 2015, after lifeguards at the Oyster Bay Town beach spotted what may have been a shark and ordered swimmers out of the water. A short time later, Nassau County police in a helicopter spotted two sharks swimming eastward from Tobay Beach. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The swimming area at Tobay Beach was closed for about 90 minutes after Nassau County police said two 6-foot sharks were spotted Thursday about 15 feet offshore and heading eastward.

Swimmers were ordered out of the water and police were called after a lifeguard spotted a possible shark, said Marta Kane, spokeswoman for the Town of Oyster Bay. Police received the call at 11:49 a.m. and initiated a helicopter search.

Seventh Precinct police officers and the Nassau County Aviation Unit responded to the call reporting sharks spotted in the ocean waters off Tobay Beach, police said in a news release.

Pilots visually confirmed that two 6-foot sharks were 15 feet from the shoreline swimming east toward Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County, according to police.

Police gave "the all-clear for residents to go back into the water," Kane said, with swimming resuming about 2:15 p.m.

It's not this season's first shark sighting on Long Island: Mary Lee, a 3,500-pound great white shark, was swimming near Fire Island in May.

The predator, which was tagged with a tracker in 2012 off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, by the nonprofit shark research group OCEARCH, was a few miles off of Robert Moses State Park, according to pinging from its tracker.

And on July 1, beachgoers at Overlook Beach in the Town of Babylon were pulled from the water after a possible shark sighting -- a fin was spotted, officials said. No one was injured.

In Thursday's sighting, both Suffolk County police and the Town of Babylon were notified of the eastbound sharks, Kane said.

A lifeguard estimated about 2,000 people were at Tobay Beach at the time, Kane said.

The evacuation was a safety precaution, she said.

No injuries were reported, police said.

-- With Nicole Fuller

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