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Aug 14, 2017 5:38 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Southampton Town Using Boats To Investigate Monday's Possible Shark Sighting

Swimmers were evacuated out of the water at Mecox Beach in Bridgehampton on Monday due to a possible shark sighting. AMANDA BERNOCCO
Aug 15, 2017 10:22 AM

UPDATE: Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.

Southampton Town will have boats out in the ocean along the four beaches that closed to swimmers on Monday to confirm if the sighting was definitely a shark, according to Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

The beaches reopened to swimming on Tuesday; the boats are a precautionary measure, he said.

"They thought there might have been a shark sighting," Mr. Schneiderman said of the park department's decision to close the beaches to swimming. "One of the lifeguards said they may have saw a fin, some people believe it may have been a dolphin, but we're going to try to get more information."


The Southampton Town Parks Department closed four oceanside beaches to swimming on Monday following a shark sighting, according to officials.

Southampton Town Parks Director Kristen Doulos said that unusually large fish were spotted close to the shore, prompting the closing of four beaches: Sagg Main, Mecox, Scott Cameron and Flying Point.

“I cant confirm that they were sharks, but the chief lifeguard [Sean Crowley] felt strongly enough that it was worth taking a precaution over,” Ms. Doulos said. “Potentially large sharks or large fish, 6- to- 7-feet.”

The first sighting was at Sagg Main at about 2:30 p.m. and within the hour the three other beaches were closed due to similar sightings, Ms. Doulos said.

Matt Feldman, a Hampton Bays resident and a lifeguard at Water Mill Beach Club, which is situated on the same strip of beaches, said that he saw several large fish close to shore on Monday, including what appeared to be dolphins, blue fish, bunker, striped bass and what he identified as a possible shortfin mako shark.

“I’ve never seen very large sharks and bait so close to shore like that,” Mr. Feldman said, noting that he is also a fisherman.

Mr. Feldman said there were about five to seven people in the water at the time of the sighting and he quickly helped get everyone out of the water safely.

Swimmers are expected to be allowed back in the water on Tuesday. Lifeguards will “certainly be keeping an extra eye out,” Ms. Doulos said.

Down the beach, Rachel Collins, a Chicago resident who is visiting Southampton, said she heard lifeguards pulling swimmers out of the water and warning of possible sharks on Monday afternoon at Flying Point Beach.

She said that she was both happy to see how quickly the lifeguards responded and to see with her own eyes how well the ecosystem is doing.

“I thought it was cool in the last few days I saw dolphins, whales, tuna jumping,” Ms. Collins said. “It’s nice to see that the wildlife in the ocean is still doing well.”

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This is where Drones would come in very handy!! why not??
By villavecchio (6), Southampton on Aug 15, 17 8:58 AM
What a waste of time and resources
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Aug 15, 17 10:28 AM
They're going to need bigger boats..
By G (342), Southampton on Aug 15, 17 10:49 AM
Waste of time??? Guess you don't swim there golden boy.
Good use of the resources we have/// JMO
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 15, 17 10:54 AM
Is this for real? Southampton has sent people into the Atlantic to confirm the existence of sharks? Um, there are sharks in the ocean. You can get back to work now.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Aug 15, 17 11:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
Not surprised. Saw at least 4 large schools of fish down at Mecox on Sunday. Dinner is served!
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Aug 15, 17 11:12 AM
According to Ocearch, two sharks did ping yesterday off of Water Mill and Southampton. Finn a female white shark at 8:51am, and JD a male white shark at 9:38am. Though their pings seem to be a quite a distance from the shore, it is likely they were around, as they were only recently tagged off Montauk.
By BeachBagLady (1), Water Mill on Aug 15, 17 11:34 AM
Drones a great idea. Much cheaper than boats!
By Taz (725), East Quogue on Aug 15, 17 11:45 AM
There are ALWAYS sharks close by and the incredible amount of bait close to the beach has brought in dolphins and other predators, heads up!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 15, 17 11:56 AM
Rub A DUB DUB three ,,,,,,,,in a tub,,,,,,,dont get lost out there there's an election coming up soon and sighting Moby Dick is not worth the risk.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Aug 15, 17 11:57 AM
duunnn dunnn… duuuunnnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn

Just punch 'em on the snout really hard ad they will go away...

If that does not work, make sure you are with someone who swims slower than you...
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Aug 15, 17 2:45 PM
Possibly saw a shark??...in the ocean?.... Go figure...
By S.N.A.F.U. (6), SOUTHAMPTON on Aug 15, 17 3:08 PM
Very surprised at all the snide remarks directed at lifeguards simply trying to do a good job
By jtj (1), london on Aug 15, 17 3:59 PM
One possible snide remark does not constitute all the remarks as being directed at the lifeguards . Its just a lil local humor an excitement over something that doesnt happen here regularly. Im sure I'm not alone when I say, Id rather a lifeguard yell shark even if it turns out to just be a dolphin, or a local kid with a ply wood shark. At least id know that lifeguard was doing his/her job.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Aug 15, 17 4:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have not read one disparaging comment about lifeguards here. I don't know ho you can make such an accusation. We all respect our lifeguards. Our Supervisor not exactly. I think that is what brought out the dark humor. Sending the Southampton Navy to look for sharks in the ocean.
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Aug 15, 17 9:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is the ocean and there are sharks in it. The lifeguards are doing a wonderful job at protecting swimmers as well as respecting existing marine life. What is mind boggling is how people are somehow surprised a possible shark was spotted off the shore and now will not go in the water. They have always been there folks!
By Aubrey Baratta (1), East Hampton on Aug 15, 17 8:06 PM
great video!! At least one pup mako and a thresher in the mix, beautiful to see!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 18, 17 7:14 AM
There was a group of dusky sharks feeding on bunker right in the wash yesterday morning at Stovies, also two feeding humpback whales along with an incredible amount of bunker pods with small threshers feeding on them, what a great place we live in, mother nature on full display.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 20, 17 8:42 AM
1 member liked this comment