News Release

Fire Island National Seashore Beaches Reopen After Two Swimmers Report Bite Injuries

Lifeguards, sunbathers, and swimmers at an ocean beach in summer.

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News Release Date: July 19, 2018

Patchogue, NY - The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that Fire Island National Seashore’s Sailors Haven and Watch Hill beaches are open to swimmers. The two NPS lifeguarded beaches were closed to bathing yesterday after non-life-threatening bite injuries were reported at Sailors Haven and Atlantique, a Town of Islip beach.


At 11:15 AM a 12 year-old girl wading near shore at Sailors Haven was bitten. The victim was able to walk to shore with the help of her caregiver and was transported to an area hospital by Suffolk County.


A second bite injury was later reported at Atlantique, a Town of Islip beach four miles west of Sailors Haven. A tooth found in the bite wound of the victim at Atlantique was sent to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Marine Bureau for identification.


Injuries of this kind are rare on Fire Island, however, visitors should always use caution in and around the water. The following precautions are recommended:

  • Always swim between the flags and near shore at lifeguarded beaches
  • Never swim alone
  • Check in with the lifeguards for the most up-to-date information on swimming conditions

The NPS offers lifeguard services at three ocean beaches within Fire Island National Seashore. Through September 3, 2018, lifeguards are on duty seven days a week at Sailors Haven and Watch Hill; and on weekends at Talisman/Barrett Beach. More info.


Last updated: July 19, 2018

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Patchogue, NY 11772


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