LONG ISLAND, NY – Shocking bystander video of a man literally wrestling with a shark on the shore of a Long Island, New York beach has gone viral, following a summer of increased sightings of the marine predator – and several attacks – in the region, leading to beach closures and increased security patrols in an effort to keep swimmers safe.
The video was captured on Sunday at Smith Point County Park in Shirley – the site of two shark attacks in July – and it shows an unidentified man on the shoreline holding onto the tail of what appears to be a thrashing 200-pound sand tiger shark, which experts say is a non-aggressive species that typically only attacks humans if provoked.
The woman who took the video, Emily Murray – who can be heard exclaiming “holy sh*t!” from behind the camera – noted that the man fighting with the shark and dragging it onto the sand had been a fisherman who had inadvertently ensnared the feisty fish.
“He had been fishing and caught the shark by accident,” she said. “He was attempting to unhook it and cut it free.”
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As a crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the spectacle, Murray said, the triumphant shark wrangler – who at one point was assisted by a second individual – eventually managed to remove the fishing hook from the shark’s jaw and dragged it back into the water, where he released it.
The New York region – and Long Island in particular – have seen a large spike in shark sightings this summer and even several attacks, leading to increased patrols and numerous beach closures. At Smith Point Beach alone, the setting of Sunday’s shark wrestling incident, two swimmers were attacked by sharks in July.
On July 3, a shark estimated to be 5 feet in length reportedly bit a lifeguard on his chest and right hand, and on July 14, a 4-foot tiger shark bit a 41 year-old surfer, with the victim requiring hospitalization due to a 4-inch long wound on his leg.
In addition to the attacks at Smith Point Beach, there were four other shark-related incidents at other Long Island beaches in July as well.