Children, 13, 12, bitten by sharks in rare incidents in New York

Credit: Ian Waldie

Credit: Ian Waldie

Two children were bitten by sharks Wednesday in separate but extremely rare incidents, prompting officials to close the beaches near Fire Island.

It is the first time a shark has bitten someone in the area in 70 years, officials told The Guardian. There have only been about 10 reported shark bites on the island since 1837, and the last one was in 1948.

"It's just crazy. It's incredible," lifeguard Bella Coan told WABC. "There's never been a shark attack on Fire Island. All the older guys, they've never seen this."

Lola Pollina, 12, was bitten around noon about 10 feet off the shore near Sailor Haven Beach, according to WLNY.

"It was just like a quick kind of pull," Lola told WNBC. "I was kind of in like shock, almost, 'cause it pulled and I kind of looked at it and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh.'"

She told WLNY the shark was about 10 inches with an orange body. She ran out of the water and the shark swam off, she told WNBC.

"I saw a lot of thrashing and her trying to get to me," her mother, Barbara Pollina, told WLNY.

Lifeguards helped treat Lola before she was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to WLNY. She said the incident will not keep her from going back into the water.

Around the same time, Matthew Donaldson, 13, was boogie boarding about 4 ½miles away at Atlantique Beach when a waved knocked him off his board and a shark bit him, leaving a tooth embedded in his skin, according to WABC. He was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"It wasn't sharp, it was just kind of a shock feel," Matthew told WABC. "Because it was really quick, it was like one second, went like that and then it just let go immediately."

The tooth is being analyzed to determine the type of shark species, according to WNBC.

And while officials have not "totally confirmed" they were shark bites, all of the Fire Island beaches are closed with authorities investigate. The Town of Islip also closed its ocean-facing beaches, according to WABC.

"We're seeing this as an opportunity to remind everyone the water is beautiful, it is magnificent here on the South Shore of Long Island, but the water is treacherous," Angie Carpenter, town supervisor, told WNBC. "We need to be careful at all times."

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