Rockaway Beach shark sightings spawn more media hype has reported that conflicting accounts of “small” or “baby” sharks seen around Rockaway Beach resulted in lifeguards clearing the water for about an hour on Saturday. Accounts of the shark sightings ranged from one to three sharks being spotted. One witness told NY1 that a shark was tugging on the leg strap of a female surfer and that two more sharks were “circling her.” The scare resulted in swimmers and surfers evacuating the water, but they were allowed to return after an hour. No other subsequent incidents were reported after beach goers were allowed to return to the water.

New York Aquarium‘s Jon Dohlin was quick to point out to the news anchor in the clip above that the sharks are always out there, and the ones that are being reportedly sighted do not pose a real threat to swimmers and surfers. Despite the fact that the sharks being reported are considered to be generally harmless, it hasn’t slowed other media outlets from over-hyping the animals. The New York Post referred to the sharks as “finned fiends” and “toothy terrors,” while the New York Daily News ran with a headline referring to the sharks as “deadly fish.”

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