It’s summer for sharks on the beaches of Long Island
Hello. It’s Friday. Today it’s sharks and space – sharks off Long Island and an auction of belongings that astronaut Buzz Aldrin carried during the Apollo 11 lunar mission.
There are swimmers and surfers on Long Island who probably can’t get the thrilling theme of “Jaws” out of their heads right now.
On Wednesday, two people were bitten in apparent shark attacks 20 miles apart. On Thursday, an off-duty lifeguard who was catching an early morning wave reported that a shark had “bumped” him. There was another shark sighting almost in the same location several hours later, another about a mile away a few hours later, and another about 15 miles away an hour later.
All of which was making what another lifeguard said an understatement. “It’s been quite a few days,” said lifeguard Zach Gallo, who returned to work Thursday for the first time since being bitten by a shark on July 3.
It’s been a summer of intensified shark patrols, with drones sent out to survey Long Island’s long string of ocean beaches. And even when the drones don’t see the sharks or bite them, Long Islanders know all too well they’re there: A 10-foot mako shark washed up at Point Lookout over the weekend Memorial Day weekend.
The surfboard crash happened a few miles west of where the two incidents happened on Wednesday. The off-duty lifeguard was surfing Lot 3 at Robert Moses State Park around 8 a.m., said Long Island State Parks spokesman George Gorman.
Gorman said a drone was sent to scan the water. The operator saw nine rays but no sharks. Even so, swimming was prohibited until 9:30 a.m. and again for an hour at noon after another sighting was reported. Another drone flight didn’t see any sharks either.
It made Thursday less dramatic than Wednesday, when a shark knocked over Shawn Donnelly, an overeating lawyer on his way to the office.
He retaliated by slapping the shark. He swam and a wave carried Donnelly to the beach.
He did not realize he had been bitten and walked to an aid station, where he described the encounter. “They were like, ‘Go ahead,'” he said.
About 11 hours later and 20 miles away, a 49-year-old Arizona man was standing waist deep in water when, police say, a shark came from behind and bit him twice. time. He managed to get out of the water and was airlifted to hospital with what police said were non-life-threatening injuries.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the incidents were “something of a new normal”.
Robert Hueter, chief scientist of Ocearch, an organization that researches and tracks marine species, said the shark population is rebounding after declining 90% between the 1970s and 1990s, depending on the species. “Are we back to what it was in 1950 or 1960? he said. “No, we’re not even close to that. People who weren’t alive then think there are more sharks than ever before, but in reality the ecosystem is still resetting.
But he also said that with climate change, shark populations that typically venture no further north than the Chesapeake Bay area have moved up the coast to New York Bay, the wedge formed by the coasts of Long Island and New Jersey.
Gallo, who is 33 and has been a lifeguard at Smith Point for 10 years, doesn’t seem to have a grudge against the shark that choked him. “I think it was just a curious animal,” he said, “and I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
He admitted to having some apprehension about returning to Smith Point Park. He said when he arrived in the morning, he felt “a faint, like, ‘Whoa, I’m going back in the water today.'”
He said he and the lifeguards who went in the water with him had words for any sharks who might have listened: “Who’s ready for Round 2?”
Enjoy a sunny day near the mid 80s. The evening is mostly clear with temperatures in the low 70s.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING
In effect until August 15 (Assumption Day).
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For sale, a jacket that came out of this world
The label indicates that the jacket is a size ML and was manufactured on December 18, 1968.
The label does not say who wore it or where.
The gift is a name tag on the front that says “E. Aldrin,” for astronaut Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin Jr. He wore the jacket on the three-day trip to the moon in July 1969 and on the trip back from three days. It was made of the same Teflon-coated material as the spacesuits he and Neil Armstrong changed for their moonwalk. (Apollo 13 liftoff was 53 years ago tomorrow; Wednesday is the anniversary of the moonwalk.)
The jacket will be sold on July 26 at Sotheby’s, which expects it to sell for between $1 million and $2 million. Other items from Aldrin’s career are also on the block, including a checklist he used during the 1966 Gemini 12 I mission spacewalks ($15,000-$20,000) ; the Apollo 11 flight plan he took with him into space ($100,000 to $150,000); and a felt-tip pen he used on a circuit breaker that governed the power supply for the lunar module to lift off after the moonwalk. The circuit breaker switch had broken somewhere along the way. “You can imagine what he’s thinking,” said Cassandra Hatton, senior vice president of Sotheby’s. “That’s the original Houston-we-have-a-problem.”
Aldrin recalled in the book “Men from Earth” (written with Malcolm McConnell) that “we looked for something to knock into this circuit breaker”. He and Armstrong found an item that hadn’t been released by NASA: the felt-tip pen. Sotheby’s expects it, along with the broken light switch, to sell for between $1 million and $2 million.
As for Aldrin’s jacket, it was custom-fitted months before takeoff, so Aldrin had to stay in shape. “If you arrive at the party and the costume doesn’t fit anymore,” Hatton said, referring to the launch, “there are no last-minute changes.”
She said Aldrin’s jacket apparently didn’t go to the cleaners — and, ultimately, to the National Air and Space Collections at the Smithsonian — along with the jackets Armstrong and Michael Collins had worn, making Aldrin’s the only jacket stolen on the mission that can now be sold. “Maybe Buzz just went out with the jacket,” she said.
It was spring and the ladybugs were once again washing up on the shores of Brighton Beach. Where they come from, I don’t know. But every year you can find me harvesting them so they can be released into a more suitable environment.
One day, a few years ago, I found them surfing on reed rafts that the beach cleaning machine, the Barber Surf Rake, swept down its throat as it went. Suddenly I had a new mission.
When the vehicle approached, I held on and motioned for it to stop. The operator glared at me from the driver’s seat.
“Sir,” I say. “I know you don’t realize this, but you kill ladybugs.”
I held out my bag full of bugs, waiting for his angry response.