Two reported shark attacks close New York’s Fire Island beaches

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two shark attacks were reported off Fire Island National Seashore east of New York City on Wednesday, with officials analyzing a tooth removed from one teenage victim’s leg to determine what bit him, authorities said.

A shark’s tooth extracted from the leg of a 13-year old boy, who was attacked at Atlantique Beach in Islip, New York, U.S., is shown in this photo provided July 18, 2018. Courtesy Jason Hager/Ocean Beach Fire Department/Handout via REUTERS

In the first attack, a 12-year-old girl was bit at about 11:15 a.m. EDT (1515 GMT) while wading in the waters of Sailors Haven in Brookhaven, said Elizabeth Rogers, spokeswoman for the National Park Service. The girl was able to walk to shore with help from her caregiver and was treated at a hospital.

In the second attack, a 13-year-old boy was boogie-boarding at Atlantique Beach in neighboring Islip when he was struck, said Islip spokeswoman Caroline Smith.

“He had a series of puncture wounds on his leg,” Smith said.

A town lifeguard who attends medical school tended to the injured boy, a camper at an Islip town day camp, after the midday attack.

“A tooth in the boy’s leg was removed and is being analyzed to determine the species,” Smith said.

The boy walked onto and off a police boat en route to Southside Hospital, where was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The identity of the tooth, which is “consistent with a large fish,” is being studied by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which will report its findings to the Suffolk County Marine Bureau, Rogers said.

Bite marks on the girl also were “consistent with a large fish. However, there was not a sighting of a shark in the area and the incident has not been confirmed as a shark bite,” Rogers said.

Fire Island National Seashore beaches were closed until further notice, she said.

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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