Alarming new drone footage shows sharks — including great whites — circling in the water 100 yards from New York’s beaches.
The infamous predators were filmed Wednesday swimming eerily close to the shore of Long Island, amid an increase in shark sightings and attacks in New York’s waters, leading to beach closures. A now viral video of the marauding man-eaters is making waves online.
“In seven years of commercial drone flying in the Hamptons – I’ve never caught sharks this close to shore,” videographer Joanna Steidle told Storyful of one of the coast-feeding frenzy, which took place just 30 feet from Little Plains Beach in Southampton. , LI .
The drone footage — which happens to coincide with Discovery’s annual Shark Week programming — showed several sharks swimming through large schools of bunker fish. Every time an apex predator passes, the bait ball splits like the Red Sea.
Steidle wrote on Twitter that the sighting was especially “frightening” because there were “5 teenagers adjusting to surf in the parking lot” nearby.
And those weren’t her only shark images this week. Previously, the drone operator had uploaded images of confirmed great white sharks – the world’s largest predatory fish, growing to 6 meters in length and 5,000 pounds – also chasing baitfish close to the coast of Southampton, Fox News reported.
Southampton Police received reports of sharks feasting on bunker fishing at nearby beaches, adding in a press release that they were aware of the wave of sharks in the region and were monitoring shark activity ‘every day’.
Indeed, New York’s waters have seen a surge in sightings in the past month, prompting authorities to close beaches across the region.
On Saturday, shark sightings forced the Parks Department to close Rockaway Beach for swimming on one of the hottest days of summer. The week before, authorities stopped swimming at three beaches in Jones Beach State Park, LI, after two sharks were spotted in the area.
Scientists attribute the shark peak to warming water. “Climate change certainly plays a role […] especially in the sightings we see this year and last,” said Chris Paparo, of the shark research team at the South Fork Natural History Museum. “As sea temperatures rise due to climate change, many fish populations are shifting northward.”
In 2020, Manhasset resident TJ Minutillo landed a nearly 8-foot bull shark, a common warmwater species, responsible for most attacks in the US alongside the great white and tiger sharks
The area has also seen a spate of attacks this month, including an incident last week in which Max Haynes, 16, was bitten in the foot while surfing near Kismet Beach on Fire Island.
Fortunately, in most cases, the sharks were unlikely to look at the victims for lunch. “One thing to keep in mind is that sharks aren’t there trying to eat surfers and swimmers,” Paparo said. “They much prefer to eat fish, but in many cases they mistake us for their real prey. When they bite, they usually move on,” he added.
“She [people] you don’t really have to worry about the threshers, they don’t bite,” fisherman Tom LaCognata, who often hunts these apex predators, told The Post. “They’re just chasing schools of fish.”