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A Long Island lifeguard was playing a victim in an ocean training exercise Sunday when he was attacked by a shark — and fought off the beast with his bare hands, officials said.

Smith Point Beach lifeguard Zack Gallo was bitten in the chest and right hand during his terrifying encounter with the 4- to 5-foot-long shark, said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

The article goes on to state the following:

“He was playing the role of a victim, and in the midst of that, actually became a victim when this shark bite occurred,” Bellone said at a press conference.

Bellone said Gallo fought off the shark by “punching down” on it. He added that Gallo’s hand wounds likely “occurred as he was beating off the shark, at that point, the interaction ended.”

There were other guards in the water at the time of the incident who rushed to help Gallo who they say was “bleeding significantly” but was somehow able to still walk out of the water unassisted.

Bellone said of Gallo’s condition, “Fortunately, he is doing well, he’s in very good spirits at Southside Hospital…getting some stitches.”


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  1. Why not use the pool instead of the ocean for this training?? There were signs and lots of announcements about sharks.


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