Shark Sighting Closes Beaches in San Clemente

San Clemente's beaches were off limits to swimmers Monday following the sighting of more than two dozen sharks.

A two-mile stretch of beach surrounding the pier will remain closed for the rest of the day. Lifeguards had planned to reopen the beach at 12:15 p.m.

That was before they spotted 20 more sharks swimming in the area, in addition to 25 sharks that were seen on Sunday.

Lifeguards plan to re-evaluate the risk posed to beachgoers by the sharks on Tuesday morning.

A sign was posted on the sand warning beachgoers of the recent sighting; one of several reported this month along this stretch of the California coast.

Fishermen on the pier reported seeing several Great White sharks Monday. One shark, described as approximately 10 to 12 feet was reeled in. They told NBC 7 it was released because it was determined to be a Great White. The species is protected.

Another shark spotted by the fishermen was 16 to 20 feet long.

An NBC 7 news crew witnessed a fisherman hooking what appeared to be a six-foot Soupfin Shark from the pier after noon.


Lifeguards first closed the city's beaches around 10:30 a.m. Sunday after an eight to nine-foot shark was spotted off the San Clemente Pier. Another shark was spotted off the pier at 1 p.m.

The closure was extended at 4 p.m. after an Orange County sheriff's helicopter spotted more than two dozen sharks within 25 yards of the beach between Cotton's Point and Capistrano Beach, some up to 10 feet long.

San Clemente's beaches were closed in April when a shark bit a woman in the thigh and earlier this month when 15 sharks were observed swimming offshore.

Leeanne Ericson survived the attack on April 29 but suffered major injuries to her right leg. She is still hospitalized and will undergo several surgeries, according to physicians at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

Ericson was attacked in the waters off San Onofre State Beach, near Camp Pendleton, in San Diego's North County.

Long Beach has issued shark advisories this month warning swimmers of the sightings of juvenile white sharks, some as long as six feet, near Belmont Shore.

NBC 7's Artie Ojeda spoke with surfers who frequent San Onofre State Beach who say recent shark warnings and sightings don't concern them one bit.

San Clemente beaches may reopen Tuesday. Lifeguards will re-evaluate the situation in the morning.

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