7-foot thresher shark spotted at Rockaway Beach just days before NYC reopens beaches for swimming
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced that beaches will be opening for swimming starting July 1
QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY: A shark was spotted on Rockaway Beach, Queens, on Monday, June 29, just two days before New York City beaches reopen for swimming. The Parks Department shared that the Thresher shark, which eventually died, had got seriously injured after getting caught on a jetty at Beach 86.
The shark washed ashore at Beach 102, the spokeswoman revealed, adding that the "Parks staff removed and properly disposed of the body." The spokesperson added, "We kindly ask New Yorkers to respect the space of any wild animal and appreciate them from a distance. If you see a wild animal, report the sighting to the WildlifeNYC website," PIX11 reports.
A local woman, Regina Cantoni, had been near Beach 100 in the afternoon at around 2:30 pm when she noticed a fin in the clear ocean waters. The fin was around 10 to 15 feet away from where she sitting in the sand.
She revealed that hundreds of beachgoers paid no heed to social distancing orders as they all swarmed to see the shark. While speaking to The New York Post, she said, "The whole beach came to the shore… and started screaming ‘Shark!'" Click to see pictures here.
She also shared, "It was endless. Everyone wanted to get a shot of the shark." The 43-year-old woman said she followed the shark fin east and at one point appeared to be letting itself wash up on the shore along with the tide.
Cantoni revealed, "It looked hurt because I could spot some blood on the body." The pictures were uploaded onto social media by the Rockaway Times and showed the 7-foot shark on the sand, covered in blood. Cantoni shared, "Everyone was freaked out especially because it was so close to shore."
Cantoni added that she was threatened with a fine and ticket as she was standing in ankle-deep water while trying to capture the moment and attempting to stay clear of the crowd. She shared that this had been her first shark sighting in around 10 years of visiting the Rockaway Beach and concluded that she would definitely be thinking twice before going into the water in the future.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio officially announced that beaches will be opening for swimming starting July 1 and went into detail on his 'Get Cool NYC' plan for summer, NY Post reports. During his daily City Hall press briefing, he said, "Lifeguards ready to go, training is being completed. It’ll be a great day for New York City — another part of our comeback to have our beaches up again. We were able to make this announcement today because of you — because of all you did to fight through the coronavirus," he shared, but added that social distancing should still be practiced and maintained.
It is reported that lifeguards will be on duty daily between 10 am and 6 pm while city Parks Department ambassadors will continue to monitor and staff the beaches, give out face masks, and also make sure social distancing is being followed. According to the Mayor's Office, if some sections of the beach start to get too crowded, sunbathers will be relocated and directed to less crowded areas.