A 50 year old woman was critically injured following a shark attack at Rockaway Beach in New York, as confirmed by the New York City Fire Department. The incident, which officials described as unprecedented, led to the closure of a popular New York beach on Tuesday. The woman was hospitalized and reported to have lost a substantial amount of flesh due to the severe bite.
The New York Post disclosed that the woman had a large part of her left thigh missing. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, in a statement to Fox News, expressed their hopes for the woman’s complete recovery. They reassured the public that such incidents are extremely uncommon in Rockaway and pledged to maintain their vigilance in monitoring the beach.
In response to the recent shark activity, Rockaway Beach was declared off-limits for swimming and surfing on Tuesday. The beach was patrolled by Parks Enforcement and the New York City Police Department to keep swimmers away from the water. The New York City Fire Department and NYPD also conducted aerial surveillance to monitor for sharks.
Before this incident, there were no reports of shark bites on Rockaway Beach. The woman was swimming at Beach 59th Street in Rockaway when she was bitten by a shark around 5:50 p.m. on Monday. Lifeguards immediately removed her from the water and administered first aid before she was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition.
As of Tuesday morning, her condition was reported to be serious but not life-threatening. Meanwhile, a potential shark sighting was reported at Jones Beach State Park on Long Island, leading to a swimming ban in the Central Mall area of the beach.
After the incident at Rockaway, lifeguards cleared all beachgoers from the water. NYPD conducted a helicopter search but did not spot any sharks. The woman, who might have been surfing at the time of the attack, was unconscious due to blood loss or shock when first responders arrived, according to FOX 5 NY.
Police used drones to survey Rockaway Beach, where the attack occurred, in an effort to locate the shark. NYC Parks are part of a shark communication network that spans the Atlantic coast, alerting each other of any unusual conditions, including sharks near the shore or strange objects washing ashore.