Human Interest Beaches Reopen After Lifeguard Is Bitten by a Shark on Long Island Smith Point Beach and Cupsogue Beach in Suffolk County suspended swimming after a lifeguard was bitten by a shark during a training exercise in which he "was playing the role of a swimmer in distress," WABC-TV reports By Virginia Chamlee Virginia Chamlee Politics Writer - PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 4, 2022 03:42 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Smith Point Beach. Photo: Getty Images Two Long Island, New York, beaches were temporarily closed over the holiday weekend after a lifeguard was bitten by a shark during a training exercise in which he was "playing the role of a swimmer in distress." Smith Point Beach and Cupsogue Beach in Suffolk County suspended swimming after Zach Gallo, a lifeguard with a decade of experience, was bitten by a shark during a rip tide training exercise, WABC-TV reports. In a press conference, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said Gallo had been taken to the hospital to receive stitches after being bitten in the chest and hand, but was in "very good spirits." "If you're going to have an encounter with a shark this is probably the best scenario you could have," Bellone said. "We have never had an incident like this occur. Hopefully, we never will again." Sydney Shark Attack Victim Identified as 'Wonderful' Diving Instructor Who Was Engaged to Be Married Bellone said the shark — which bit Gallo in the waters of Smith Point Beach — had been between four and five feet, adding that lifeguards spotted a possible second shark after the attack. The beaches reopened Monday morning for the July 4 holiday, according to a message shared by Suffolk County Parks on Twitter. Meanwhile, the Nassau County Police Department said a 57-year-old man swimming at Long Island's Jones Beach suffered a possible shark bite last Thursday. In a news alert sent Friday, the department said the incident occurred on June 30 at 1 p.m. From the news alert: "According to police, a 57-year-old male was swimming in the ocean at Jones Beach when he sustained a laceration to his right foot. Medics from the Nassau County Police Department Emergency Ambulance Bureau responded and identified the nature of the injury as a possible shark bite." Teen Suffers Serious Injuries in Shark Attack at Florida Beach: 'It's a Tragedy,' Says Sheriff When contacted by PEOPLE, the public affairs office at the Nassau County Police Department said they had no update to share regarding whether or not the man's injuries had indeed been the result of shark. The department said it planned to have "increased patrols at all Nassau beaches over the extended 4th of July holiday weekend" as a result of the incident. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. Shark sightings have been on the rise in recent months as temperatures rise. In New York, lifeguards are increasing patrols and turning to drones, tracking devices and shark patrols on Jet Skis and paddleboards as a way to monitor marine activity. The number of U.S. shark bites is also up — some 42 percent from 2020, which saw 33 incidents occur. In Florida, a teenage girl was seriously injured last week after being attacked by a shark shortly before Independence Day weekend. Her brother, a first responder and firefighter, jumped into the water to fight off the shark and pull her to safety. In 2021 the United States led all countries with 47 confirmed cases of unprovoked shark bites, or 64 percent of the global total, according to the University of Florida.