A woman was critically injured in a shark attack while swimming at Rockaway Beach in New York City, according to officials. The incident occurred just before 6 p.m. on Monday. The 50-year-old woman was bitten on her left leg.
Lifeguards immediately responded to the scene and provided first aid to the victim. She was then transported to Jamaica Hospital in critical but stable condition. The woman suffered severe lacerations to her thigh, as reported by a police spokesperson.
Following the incident, lifeguards cleared all swimmers from the water, and a helicopter was deployed by the police to search the area for any additional shark threats. However, no sharks were found during the search, as stated by the parks department.
As a precautionary measure, swimming and surfing activities were temporarily suspended at Rockaway Beach on Tuesday.
Shark attacks are highly uncommon, with only 57 unprovoked bites recorded last year, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.
The recent increase in shark sightings along New York City and Long Island beaches can be attributed to various factors, including improved water quality and the thriving population of bunker fish—sharks' primary food source.
Although this incident marks the first reported shark bite at Rockaway Beach in recent memory, there have been five reported cases of sharks biting swimmers and surfers at Long Island beaches this summer. Fortunately, there have been no fatalities so far.