The shark sighting prohibited swimming at Town of Hempstead ocean beaches from Civic Beach to Lido West beach.
Beachgoers have since been allowed back in the water, but only up to their knees.
Beach Update (2:55pm): – we are now allowing beachgoers to enter the water “knee deep” at our ocean beaches until further notice out of precaution due to the recent shark sighting.
— Town of Hempstead (@HempsteadTown) August 1, 2020
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said around 1 p.m. the lifeguards reported seeing a large dark fin emerge from the water, seemingly going after prey.
Clavin said the fin was spotted and a large splash was noticed. Some patrons in the water also noticed and began to run out of the water.
“The lifeguards immediately responded by ‘red flagging’ the waters and getting everyone out of the water,” he said. “As of this time, our lifeguards are taking the precaution of prohibiting all swimming at Hempstead Town beaches until further notice.”
Clavin added that the town’s new “shark patrol,” including their jet ski, will continue patrolling the waters throughout the day and through the weekend.
On Friday, a Town of Hempstead lifeguard with the newly formed Shark Patrol spotted the shark off Lido Beach just before 4 p.m., halting swimming at all Town of Hempstead ocean beaches from Civic Beach to Town Park Lido West beach.
The Shark Patrol consists of Jet Ski watercraft and the deployment of a team of lifeguards on a Bay Constable boat to monitor the waters as needed during this period of shark sightings. Nassau County also has enhanced helicopter patrols and intensified marine ocean patrols.
There were three sightings each day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, along with one Thursday and the most recent one Friday.
“It’s not yet known if these sightings are the same shark, or different sharks,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Meantime, TJ Minutillo, 21, of Manhasset, showed up to the press conference and shared his amazing story of reeling in a bull shark at Nickerson Beach in Nassau County.
He said he caught the shark using a Sea Robin Fly and hooked it right after sunset on Saturday, July 18. Then, he engaged in a two and a half hours long battle with the 8-foot-long beast, before reeling it in with the help of his friends.
“I’ve been doing a lot of land based shark fishing for five or six years,” Minutillo said. “We hooked a bull shark and not a sandbar or sand tiger.”
After posing for a series of photos, with both of the shark and Minutillo exhausted, he took the hook out with a pair of pliers and let it go.
“I didn’t know the regulations on it,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been worth it to me, so I threw it back, catch and release, it’s sport fishing.”
The shark was confirmed by…