No swimming or surfing will be allowed on Rockaway Beach on Tuesday after a 50-year-old woman was bitten by a shark late Monday afternoon, according to the New York City parks department.
A shark bit the woman on her left leg as she swam near Beach 59th Street, a spokeswoman for the department said. Lifeguards removed her from the water and administered first aid. Emergency responders took the woman, who was in critical condition, to Jamaica Hospital.
Lifeguards ordered everyone to exit the water, and helicopters searched for sharks but did not spot any.
“We hope for a full recovery for this swimmer,” the department spokeswoman, Meghan Lalor, said in a statement. “Though this was a frightening event, we want to remind New Yorkers that shark bites in Rockaway are extremely rare.”
Officials said that before Monday’s attack, there had been no reports of shark bites on Rockaway Beach “in recent memory.”
Ed Shanahan contributed reporting.