Sharks

Surfers Report Sharks off La Jolla: San Diego Fire-Rescue

The shark was spotted Thursday off Torrey Pines State Beach
NBC 7

A pair of surfers told lifeguards in La Jolla on Friday that each of them had seen a 6-foot shark in the water not far from La Jolla Shores, according to a spokeswoman with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

A group of what appeared to be juvenile white sharks were spotted on Thursday not far to the north, off Torrey Pines State Beach. Flying overhead at about 3:30 p.m., SkyRanger 7 easily spotted several of the sharks, including a group of three swimming near one another. Cameras were able to record a shark swimming languidly below and near a surfer, who, possibly not knowing of the shark's presence, was sitting up on his board, feet dangling beneath. The shark, though, seemed to pay the surfer no mind.

A group of what appeared to be juvenile white sharks were spotted on Thursday afternoon off Torrey Pine State Beach.

On Friday at about 10:30 a.m., a surfer told city lifeguards that when she was in the water about 100 yards offshore at Scripps Beach, which is between La Jolla Shores and Scripps Pier, she had spotted one of the sharks headed north. She told lifeguards it was not acting aggressively.

Lifeguards were then sent to patrol the area in a one-mile perimeter, the spokeswoman said.

A second report from a different surfer followed, with similar details.

Warning signs about the shark spotting were posted nearby, and lifeguards are making PA announcements as well, according to SDFD, who added that no beaches have been closed.

As of 4 p.m., there were no additional sightings lifeguards or beach visitors, so the advisory was lifted and the warning signs were being removed from La Jolla Shores, according to SDFD.

"There have been several juvenile white sharks seen off of the Del Mar/Torrey Pines region this summer,” said Dovi Kacev, an assistant teaching professor in the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps who reviewed an image sent to him by NBC 7. “That image is not easily diagnostic, but the location and what I can see on the image is consistent with a white shark. I cannot really say whether it is a juvenile because there is nothing with which to guess the size, but given how skinny it looks, it does not appear to be an adult :)”

Juvenile great whites can reach 10 feet in length, University of San Diego professor Andrew Nosal told NBC 7 earlier this year. Then, when the juveniles reach sexual maturity, they swim north to central and northern California, and transition from eating mostly fish to consuming mostly marine mammals. That, Nosal said, is partly why juvenile sharks are not as dangerous to people as the adults are.

It's not the first time sharks have been spotted off San Diego shores this summer, of course. Coronado lifeguards put up warning signs twice in July after sightings.

Contact Us