Second Shark Sighting Closes Mission Beach

Mission beach closed second time in two days

By Lauren Steussy and Rory Devine
|  Friday, Aug 26, 2011  |  Updated 8:33 PM PDT
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Mission Beach Closed After Shark Sightings: Images

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Shark Sightings in Mission Beach

A surfer reported spotting a shark Friday near Tower 13, forcing the second two-mile closure in the area in as many days.
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Another shark has been spotted on Mission Beach, fire department authorities said.

Longtime surfer Tom Lochtefeld saw the shark Friday morning near tower 13. He said the dorsal fin was about 14 inches. The shark did not act aggressively toward him.

Though scientists have not yet determined what type of shark this one is, it could potentially be a great white shark, as several have recently given birth off the coast of Southern California, said UC Davis shark expert Peter Klimley.

When the sharks give birth, they migrate north, often feeding near beaches, Klimley said.

Thursday at noon, a lifeguard spotted a 10-foot shark about 100 yards off shore, near tower 15 in Mission Beach. Klimley said the shark spotted today could very well be the same one seen yesterday.

Mission Beach will be closed one mile from each direction of the shark sighting. Klimley advised lifeguards to keep the beaches closed for 24 hours.

The closure is only precautionary, though, said Lt. John Everhart of the San Diego lifeguards.

“I think it’s important to keep it in perspective. I think the chances of getting attacked or injured by a shark are infinitesimal compared to chances you take driving to the beach and back home on the freeway.”

Still, many who planned on going swimming Friday had to change their plans.

“I’m a little bummed. Me and buddies here wanted to go to the beach today, since we go back to school on Monday. We wanted to have one last time out, but the shark kind of prevented that today,” said Elijah Lopez, a San Diego resident.

About a dozen surfers were asked to get out of the water when the shark was spotted. Swimmers may get in at their own risk, however none are currently in the water, said SDFD Spokesperson Maurice Luque.

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