Great White Shark Spotted Off La Jolla Shores

Lifeguards warning beachgoers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Artie Ojeda

    How would you react if you saw a shark in the ocean?

    San Diego Lifeguards are patrolling the waters near La Jolla Shores on Monday, warning swimmers and surfers about a Great White Shark that was spotted offshore Sunday morning.

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    Elizabeth Aziz, of Long Beach, says she was one of the people who actually saw the dorsal fin of what lifeguards believe was a 15 to 20 foot Great White shark in the waters off La Jolla Shores.

    So what is Aziz doing the day after her alarming sighting? She's going in the water!

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    "What are the odds? Come on, how often does a shark attack happen," said Aziz.

    She was one of dozens who signed up to take kayaking lesson at La Jolla Shores. Most of the students were not aware of the shark advisory being put out by lifeguards.

    "Please don't tell my son," said Rod Keillor of Carlsbad. He wanted to take his son on an adventure before the end of the summer and signed up for the kayaking lesson.

    "I feel fine, there are other people out there as well," Keillor said. "I'm sure if it was a hazard, they wouldn't let us go out."

    San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum says they are just informing people about the sighting and letting them make their own decision about getting into the water.

    "We think the public would want to know, what we know," Lerum said.

    On Sunday, lifeguards say the shark was spotted twice, once by a kayaker around 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning and by a lifeguard around 5:00 p.m. At that time, Lerum says most people decided to get out of the water.

    "[He] said the shark was bigger than his 12-foot kayak, [he] actually came in contact with his kayak with the fin of his tail," Lerum said.

    Lifeguards at La Jolla Shores said they saw a large dorsal fin coming straight to shore, just off the surf line at La Jolla Shores.

    "We put lifeguards out on our Jet Ski skis and we warned people," Lerum said. "We brought a rescue boat from Mission Bay and we warned people all the way from La Jolla Cove to Scripps Pier, about two miles of area."

    Meanwhile, shark experts at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography say Sunday's sightings are probably not cause for alarm.

    "The sharks are normally found on the coast of California, sometimes we spot them," said Nick Wegner, a marine biologist and shark expert. "Most of the time they're there, we just don't see them."

    Wegner said humans are not part of the normal food chain for sharks. He said they are targeting prey like seals and sea lions.

    Lerum says there is no closure in effect, because there isn’t an eminent threat of danger

    This is the second spotting of a Great White shark in one week. Last week, a swimmer spotted another Great White at San Onofre State Beach.

    So far lifeguards say, it was a pretty normal turnout for a Monday, lots of people were swimming and surfing undaunted by the advisory.

    If there are no other sightings by 5:00 p.m., Lerum said everything will go back to normal.