San Diego beach closed again after shark sighting

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2011 5:39 PM
San Diego beach closed again after shark sighting

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Two miles of a popular San Diego County beach were closed for the second day in a row on Friday after a local man reported seeing the fin of a great white shark, officials said.

The man, a surfer and local businessman, told lifeguards at Mission Beach shortly before 9 a.m. on Friday that he saw the dorsal fin about 30 yards from shore, San Diego Fire and Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque said.

The sighting prompted officials to close a two-mile stretch of the beach for a second day.

On Thursday, a San Diego lifeguard spotted an 18-inch dorsal fin in the same area as he paddled a rescue board in the water just before 1 p.m., Luque said.

About 300 people were called out of the water and about 3,000 on shore were told to stay out, Luque said.

"We're talking with a shark expert from the University of California Davis and he tells us what we are doing is prudent and makes sense," Luque said.

"He said that it's probably a female migrating north after having her babies in the south."

Mission Beach, Pacific Beach to the north and La Jolla are the most popular tourist beaches in San Diego County, which has about 70 miles of beach.

Luque says people should keep in mind that the ban applies to just two of those miles.

"People are doing fine with it," Luque said of the ban. "For some visitors, it makes their vacation to be able to say they had to stay out of the water because of a shark."

(Reporting by Marty Graham, Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jerry Norton)