NEW YORK CITY (WPIX) – A woman was injured after an apparent shark attack in the NYC borough of Queens on Monday, according to officials.
A caller alerted authorities to a major injury at Rockaway Beach around 6 p.m. The victim, 50, was taken to the hospital after NYPD officers applied a tourniquet.
She is in serious but stable condition, according to officials. Authorities also confirmed that the woman had suffered an apparent shark bite.
Sources told Nexstar’s WPIX that the shark had bitten the woman’s upper left leg.
The city’s parks department called the incident “a frightening event” but claimed such attacks at Rockaway Beach are exceedingly rare:
We hope for a full recovery for this swimmer. Though this was a frightening event, we want to remind New Yorkers that shark bites in Rockaway are extremely rare. We remain vigilant in monitoring the beach and always clear the water when a shark is spotted…Prior to today, we have no reports of shark bites on Rockaway Beach in recent memory.
In the city, NOAA Fisheries monitors all marine species and posts educational information on their website. NYS DEC sets the regulations for recreational and commercial fishing, including sharks.
While Parks is not the primary agency responsible for monitoring sharks, both lifeguards and beachgoers report shark sightings. Our lifeguards then work to verify the sighting and ask for a flyover by NYPD if warranted. If appropriate, the lifeguards will whistle people into shallower water, or in extreme cases, whistle people out of the water. This is usually fairly localized.NYC Parks Department
Members of the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit later responded to the beach to fly two camera-mounted drones, searching the water for any signs of sharks nearby.
On Tuesday, the NYC Parks Department said they also planned to delay opening Rockaway Beach until at least 11 a.m., while they work with FDNY and NYPD to observe the water.