Shark Sighting Off San Diego Coast Closes Beach

By Lawrence Dechant

Jul 3, 2012 4:06pm

It was a scene out of the movie “Jaws” Monday  as beach-goers spotted a 14-foot great white shark about 50 yards off the San Diego coast, prompting the  popular swimming beach  to close.

The La Jolla Shores in San Diego has since  reopened to swimmers and surfers in time for the Fourth of July holiday Wednesday.

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan told ABC News the shark was seen Monday around 3 p.m. by eight onlookers, who noticed a dorsal fin poking above the water’s surface.

“We immediately closed the beach and searched throughout the night through sunset for the shark, but saw nothing else,” Buchanan said.

No further sightings of the great white shark had been reported as of this morning, he said.

Buchanan said sharks were common in the area, and that swimmers should always be cautious while in the water.

“We know there are sharks out there, but what we try to do is communicate with the public rapidly and honestly about what we see and what the public risks are,” he said. “And when they get that close and are seen by credible witnesses, we make sure the proper precautions are taken for the proper amount of time.”

Large crowds are expected to visit the beach for the holiday Wednesday, but Buchanan said that it would be “business as usual.

“We always increase our lifeguards by 25 percent for the holiday itself,” he said. “Due to the activity and the crowds, basically we will try to be there and ready to deploy with any speed if there’s another sighting.”

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