Two Children Bitten in Rare New York Shark Attacks

Two children are recovering after officials say they were bitten by sharks off New York state's Fire Island.

A 12-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy are recovering after they each suffered puncture wounds to their legs while wading in water along New York state's popular Fire Island, marking the first apparent shark attacks in 70 years.

Lola Pollina, 12, was wading in waist deep water about 10 feet from shore at Sailors Haven beach on Wednesday when she says she was bitten by what appeared to be a shark. While the water was too cold for her to feel the initial bite, she claims that she saw the shark in the water.

"It was a ten-inch orangey body and then there was a fin and then I got out, and my leg was bloody," Lola said, according to CBS New York. "We went to the lifeguards, we ran up to them and they kind of bandaged it."

Lola suffered several puncture wounds to her leg and was treated at a local hospital, where she is scheduled to undergo surgery.

Just minutes after Lola was bitten, a 13-year-old boy boogie boarding just four and a half miles away at Atlantique Beach suffered an identical attack when a shark left him not only with puncture wounds to his leg, but also a fragment of its tooth, which was later extracted from the wound to be studied by the state's environment department.

Shortly after the attacks, fisherman near where both attacks occurred managed to hook large sharks and pull them to shore, though there is no evidence that the sharks caught were the ones responsible for the encounters.

According to Ian Levine, chief of the Ocean Beach Fire Department, shark attacks on people in the waters along New York are extremely rare, with only 10 cases having been reported. The last reported incident was in 1948, making the most recent attacks the first in 70 years.


Marine life experts believe that cleaner ocean waters along New York are making for the perfect conditions for the sea life that sharks eat, drawing them closer to the shore and thus resulting in more human and shark encounters, the Guardian reports.

The beaches along Fire Island have since been closed as the incidents are investigated.