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A shark attack in a popular tourist hotspot has sparked panic after the hungry beast went missing.
The 16-year-old surfer was attacked in the waters near Fire Island in Long Island, New York earlier this week.
It was the sixth such attack in the last few months.
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Although the man only suffered a “minor” bite, officials are worried because they couldn't find the shark afterwards.
The victim was found to have suffered a four-inch wound on his right leg, but was able to walk out of the water under his own power – he was later treated in hospital and will make a full recovery.
Despite a police helicopter unit searching the waters for hours, no shark was found.
“It was five to six feet, 25 yards out, and it definitely had the triangular fin,” an East Atlantic Beach lifeguard said.
“We both saw it, and we took the proper precautions, let the lieutenant know, red-flagged the beach.”
Strangely, just a few hours later, a shark actually washed ashore in the same area near Kismet Beach.
The shark was a juvenile, and measured around seven to eight feet long.
Shark expert Chris Paparo, who works at Stony Brook University, said: “Due to conservation efforts, these sharks are making a comeback.
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“Many of the ones we are seeing are juveniles.
“Detection, from drones to helicopters, also has improved and reports are easily spread through social media.
“There are a lot more sharks than 10 or 15 years ago.
“We’re spotting sharks, whales and dolphins here. In the 1960s, we did not have sharks, whales and dolphins.”
The spate of attacks prompted Governor Kathy Hochul to bring forward an action plan to help solve the crisis.
She will introduce more lifeguards, and an enhanced drone surveillance programme working 24/7 to spot sharks before they get near humans.
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