New Yorkers won’t be able to stick their toes in the Coney Island sand, Tuesday, due to some aquatic visitors, according to NBC 4 New York.
Parts of the Coney Island beach – located near its famous pier – were closed by N.Y.C. Parks Department officials “out of an abundance of caution” on Tuesday morning after New York Aquarium staff spotted sharks near the shore, said NBC 4.
John Dohlin, director of the New York Aquarium, told NBC 4 that multiple sharks were swimming around the beach area. A beach witness further told the New York Post that she saw a “dark thing in the water with a fin sticking out,” and video shows what appears to be a shark swimming just beyond the tide.
Dohlin said, however, that the sharks appear to be basking sharks, which pose no threat to humans. Basking sharks eat plankton, and can grow to be quite large – up to 20 feet long. The sharks were likely feeding, Dohlin explained.
He added to the Post, “We’ve seen significant schools of fish off shore here which explains their behavior coming close to the shoreline. It’s feeding behavior.”
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The Parks Department has not yet indicated when the beach will be re-opened.