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Drones patrol Long Island beach shores on July 4 after lifeguard bitten by shark

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SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. — Long Island shores are being patrolled by drones one day after a shark bit a lifeguard over the weekend at Smith Point Beach. 

Officials said they’re using state-of-the-art equipment to watch for any more sharks, CBS2’s Thalia Perez reported Monday.

It was a sunny, picture-perfect day at the beach. Twelve-year-old Aiden Rivera said he returned Monday to bodysurf after Sunday’s shark attack derailed his plans. 

“I was a little disappointed because it was not as fun as I thought it was going to be because you had to go in knee-length or higher,” Aiden said.

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Many beachgoers said they enjoyed the holiday, with caution. 

“Stay on the beach all day and hopefully see no sharks,” Patchogue-resident Carol Cruz said. “We’ll see.” 

“I’m excited to swim but there’s a lot of people here. I feel like if we don’t go too far out we’ll be fine,” said Gianna Niewiadomski from Riverhead. 

Sunday morning, a shark bit Zachari Gallo, a lifeguard with 10 years of experience. Gallo was participating in a training exercise with fellow lifeguards. 

“Zach was portraying a victim and actually while he was portraying a victim, he became a real victim,” said Jason Smagin, commissioner of parks for Suffolk County. 

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In an exclusive interview with CBS2, Gallo described how he fought off the shark before it swam away. 

“I hit the shark three times. Boom, boom, boom and I guess on the third one it spun back, it’s dorsal, it’s tail hit me in the chest,” Gallo said. 

Gallo said he received stitches after the shark bit him in the hand and chest. 

Smagin said there was a shark sighting after the attack and officials have been keeping a vigilant eye on the water from above with state-of-the-art equipment, including a drone. 

“We have them out there with different tools, including jet skis, kayaks, surf boards, paddle boards. We have them from binoculars on land,” Smagin said. 

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Officials said training for scenarios like Sunday’s shark attack is done constantly. 

Source: CBS

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