A lifeguard was attacked by a shark in the middle of a training exercise at Smith Point Beach, Long Island, on Sunday. As per officials he attempted to save himself by 'punching' the marine predator.
According to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, the incident occurred at 10:15 a.m. when the lifeguard, Zack Gallo was participating in an ocean training exercise by playing a victim. The 4- to 5-foot-long beast attacked him halfway through the exercise and the lifeguard sustained injures in the chest and in his right hand.
"He was playing the role of a victim, and in the midst of that, actually became a victim when this shark bite occurred," Bellone said at a press conference.
Gallo was immediately given first aid by fellow guards as he was losing a lot of blood then rushed to a nearby hospital. Recalling the terrifying experience, the injured lifeguard who was resting at home, told WCBS-TV that he felt a sharp pain and a 'rubbery texture' in the middle of training.
Understanding at once that it was a shark, the lifeguard said that he tried to fight the beast off of him by raining blows on the animal.
"I felt sharp, sharp pain and I knew it was some kind of â¦ once I felt the rubbery texture, I knew it was some kind of shark, I hit it three times boom, boom, boom. I guess in the third one it spun back and its tail hit me in the chest," Gallo said.
As the news of the attack reached the authorities, it was announced that the beach will be closed on Sunday. The county officials also informed that due to signs of a 'dangerous marine activity,' another beach on the east side of Smith Point, Cupsogue was not open for the public, NY Post reported.
After the terrifying attack the authorities had attempted to look for the shark with the help of a drone and did find one too, but there are doubts if this is the same beast or not.
There has been a sudden increase observed in the frequency of shark attacks which were earlier dubbed as 'extremely rare.' This incident marks the second in this month. The first happened some three days ago when a swimmer suffered 'possible shark bites,' near Jones Beach in Nassau County.
This abrupt rise in attacks have prompted the county officials to intensify beach patrols in order to be on guard for the Fourth of July as the beaches are expected to be jam-packed.
"We've never had an incident like this before. Hopefully this doesn't happen again," Bellone added.