Around 2pm on Sunday afternoon, several large sharks were spotted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, prompting officials to close popular Sunset Beach.
Claude Panis, a marine safety lieutenant for the fire department, reported that multiple sharks measuring more than 8 feet long off were spotted off Anderson Street near Sunset Beach Tower 26. The entire 1.1-mile length of Sunset Beach, from the northernmost border at Anderson Street to Warner Avenue, was ordered closed for the rest of Sunday. Authorities will reevaluate the waters Monday morning before deciding to reopen access.
It’s not the only sightings in the area. Great whites sightings have occurred regularly near the Huntington Beach and San Clemente piers, prompting “use at your own risk” warning signs in the area. Fortunately, nobody in the area has been injured recently by the sharks.
While it may be nerve-wracking for some beach goers, others are happy with the fact that sharks are in the area.
“I’m really happy to see so many sharks here this year” said marine biologist Brian Fossett. “To me it’s a sign of a healthy ocean. I’d be far more worried if there were no sharks here at all.”
No sharks encounters, bites, or attacks have been reported by scuba divers in Southern California this year, but on May 30, an Orange County woman swimming in a wetsuit about 150 yards off the shore of Corona del Mar State Beach was bitten by a shark, which injured from her shoulder to her torso.