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Great white shark eats dead whale off Long Island coast

A lifeguard captured thrilling footage of a great white shark devouring a 17-foot whale off the coast of Long Island, New York.

Jake Kolar filmed the feasting after he and a colleague ventured into the water to investigate a whale floating on its back.

The short clips shows the predator biting at the whale then it swims over to the lifeguards and bumps into one of their jet skis.

The duo remained relatively calm throughout the video, which took place on July 31, as they watched the shark chow down on the whale until it washed up onto the beach.

 

Kolar, who is from Long Island, currently works as a lifeguard at one of the beaches.

He and a friend were watching guard when they spotted a massive whale 900 feet away from the shore, which was floating belly up.

The pair hopped on jet skis and ventured out to investigate the scene.

Kolar said: ‘We were sitting in the tower watching the water when we saw a dead whale floating in, we had two jet skis to go out about 300 yards offshore and that’s where we saw the shark.’

‘We were pumped when we saw it, we figured there was something eating the dead whale and when we got out there we didn’t see anything for about 90 seconds then it came up and we were stoked.’

Great white shark sightings have become more common in Long Island over the years and this summer have created quite a stir.

Marine experts believe the spike in shark sightings may be because of growing seal populations and the fact that both species are protected by law.

In July, beaches shut down due to the underwater predators moving in closer to the beach.  

There have been several shark sightings on Long Island including in the area’s two most popular beaches.

Those sightings were believed to be of bull sharks, which are known to like warm, shallow water and are extremely aggressive and scavenge for food, marine experts say.

Nassau County has had police helicopter and boat patrols surveying for the predators lurking under the water. 

Also in July, lifeguards in Hempstead snapped a photo of a dead skate fish that washed ashore with two massive shark bite marks on its fins. 

Town officials believe a bull shark is behind the bite marks following a pair of sightings on Monday.

Yet another shark sighting was reported a few days later off the coast on Nickerson Beach which prompted the closure of swimming access at all ocean beaches in Nassau Counter, Town of Hempstead and Long Beach, according to the Long Island Press.

Officials warned Long Island citizens to stay close to the shore, for beachgoers to swim in groups and avoid wearing shiny jewelry which sharks can mistake for the scales of a fish, and to avoid swimming when bleeding.

New York has had at least 20 shark sightings in the past 12 months.

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said there have been just 12 confirmed shark bites in New York waters since 1837. 

The most recent shark bite occurred on Fire Island in 2018 after a 70-year stretch of no shark attacks in local waters.

Paul Sieswerda, executive director of the marine research organization Gotham Whale, which has monitored sharks off the South Shore over the summer, has received reports of several different species of sharks in the area so far.

‘Some of the sharks have been hammerheads, spinner sharks, thresher sharks and animals that tend to be at the surface,’ Sieswerda said.

‘There are a number of other sharks out there that stay below that have been there forever like sand tiger sharks, spiny dogfish, smooth dogfish and those are just natural sharks that pose no threat to humans,’ he added.

Still, officials say shark attacks are incredibly rare and the chances are one in 12 million.

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