2 Long Island beaches close after lifeguard bitten by shark

Two beaches on the eastern end of Long Island were temporarily closed to swimmers after a lifeguard was bitten by a shark, authorities said.

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Smith Point Beach and Cupsogue Beach in Suffolk County suspended swimming after the lifeguard was bitten at Smith Point during a training exercise, WNYW-TV reported.

Zach Gallo, who has been a lifeguard at Smith Point Beach for 10 years, was playing the role of a swimmer in distress when he was bitten, according to WABC-TV.

The lifeguard was taken to Southside Hospital to receive stitches, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said during a news conference.

The attack happened about 10:15 a.m. EDT, Bellone said. Gallo was receiving stitches and 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 told reporters. “We have never had an incident like this occur. Hopefully, we never will again.”

Bellone said there was an additional shark sighting after the attack, but it was unclear whether it was the same animal, WNYW reported.

The beach was closed to swimming Sunday but it is expected to open on Monday. Officials will be monitoring the water for sharks, Bellone said.

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