Sharks attacks two children in New York leaving them with awful puncture wounds
Two children have been injured in shark attacks off the coast of Long Island, New York, in what is the first of such incidents in the state for 70 years.
Authorities report that a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy were treated for puncture wounds to their legs in separate incidents, taking place miles apart, along the bay of Fire Island on Wednesday.
The two individuals were discharged after undergoing emergency medical treatment to their right legs. Both are expected to fully recover.
A tooth, which was described as being "consistent with a large fish" was extracted from the boy's leg, and was after analysed to determine the species that he encountered while boogie-boarding at Atlantique Beach, in the town of Islip, 50 miles east of Manhattan.
The girl, who was later identified as Lola Pollina, said that she was standing waist-deep in cold waters at Sailors Heaven beach in Brookhaven - two miles east of Islip - when she was bitten. Pollina described seeing a fin before returning to the beach to discover that her "leg was bloody".
"I saw something, like, next to me, and I kind of felt pain, and looked and I saw a fin," she stated. "We went to the lifeguards, we ran up to them and they kind of bandaged it."
Pollina added that the shadow in the water appeared to be around three to four feet long (90-120 cm).
At a press conference following the two incidents, chief lifeguard, Craig Amarando, stated: "So the boy was very brave. He was alert the whole time. He was scared of course, but he was a brave boy."
The puncture wounds were reportedly bandaged immediately, but paramedics arrived and removed the dressings to view the incisions. "They confirmed that not only was it a shark bite, but they found one of the teeth still inside the boy," Amarando continued.
According to the chief of Ocean Beach Fire Department, Ian Levine - whose paramedics treated the boy - shark attacks are incredibly rare in waters off Fire Island or anywhere else in the state.
Only 10 cases of shark bites on people have been documented in New York state, and the last was in 1948, said Levine, after citing documents he was given by Islip town supervisors.
National parks spokeswoman, Elizabeth Rogers, has announced that Fire Island beaches have been closed until further notice.
According to Rogers, the tooth specimen is currently being studied by the state's environment department, which is due to report its findings to the Suffolk county marine bureau.
In a separate incident, a tiger shark, which measured seven feet long (2.2 metres), was captured by a fisherman at Kismet, another beach town, two miles west of Islip. Levine has since said that he doubts that either of Wednesday's attacks involved that particular shark.