The fin of a shark breaks the surface near the 'Miracla' beach in Tarragona city on August 20 2007. Getty Images

A small shark caused a bit of commotion on a New York City beach over the weekend. The shark washed up onto the sands of Coney Island on Saturday near West 19th Street which cleared out swimmers from the surrounding area.

Lifeguards reportedly spotted two small sharks in the Coney Island waters. One of the sharks washed up on the sand and lifeguards ordered swimmers to leave the water. The lifeguards called NYPD aviation about the sharks and after they had surveyed the area, officers did not see any additional sharks, a spokesperson told Patch. "It's a common occurrence given fishing that happens off the pier," the spokesperson said.

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The shark commotion drew the attention of a small crowd. Witnesses posted videos of the shark to on social media. Mo Godwin, a Bay Ridge local captured the shark scene on video and posted it to Twitter. In one of the videos, a shark is seen in the surrounding water and the other shark beached on the sand.


#fdny #nypd Coney Island water evacuated due to shark. I have batter pictures. #coneyisland

A post shared by Scott Berliner (@scott_berliner_photos) on

Godwin told The Gothamist she was sitting on the sand when "all of a sudden we looked in the water and there was a shark maybe 6 to 10 feet out in the water." Godwin said the shark was four feet long and swimmers were asked to leave the water. The lifeguards evacuated the part of the water where the sharks were but others near the area were not asked to leave.

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"There was a great conversation," Godwin said regarding the shark situation. "People were yelling at the head lifeguard to toss it back in, people were going 'Oh sh-t it's a shark,' and it was fascinating, but no one was scared." Godwin said the situation lasted about 45 minutes and there was no panic. The shark eventually went back out to sea.

Sharks are known to visit the Coney Island beach. In fact, the beach was closed last July due to a shark sighting. Park officials closed the beach after sharks were ten feet away from the shore. Swimmers were asked to leave the water.

Director of the New York Aquarium John Dohlin released a statement regarding the sharks that were seen last July on Coney Island.

"Today’s reported shark sightings off Coney Island are a reminder that New York City and its waterways are home to fascinating marine wildlife. A vast ocean wilderness literally laps against the city’s shores, and we share these waters with whales, seals, sea turtles, and yes, sometimes sharks."

He added, "We agree with the decision by New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation to close beaches out of an abundance of caution and respect for these animals. As people watch from shore we hope they will remember that sightings like these are opportunities for all New Yorkers to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and diversity of the ocean."