Shark sightings off south bay ocean coastline prompt warnings
Last updated 4/18/2019 at 10:41am
IMPERIAL BEACH - The appearance of a shark in shallow waters off the coast of the Silver Strand prompted lifeguards to issue warnings to swimmers and surfers in the area.
The first of three sightings of the sea predator -- believed to be a great white shark -- occurred about 9 a.m., as Border Patrol agents in a helicopter flying over the ocean shoreline about a mile north of Imperial Beach noted its presence in the swells, said Robert Stabenow, chief of marine safety chief for the South Bay city.
Less than an hour later, a sheriff's helicopter crew spotted what was believed to be the same shark offshore from Navy property within the city limits of Coronado.
Upon receiving the second report, Imperial Beach lifeguards set out aboard personal watercraft to look for the creature, catching glimpses of it just outside the surf line it in the same general area about 10:15 a.m., Stabenow said.
The shark, which was in about 10 feet of water during the final sighting, appeared to be roughly 7 feet long, according to Stabenow.
"So it's pretty small, possibly a juvenile,'' he said.
As the lifeguards watched the animal, it swam off into deeper water and disappeared.
Since the shark was of moderate size, was not behaving aggressively and was cruising areas with few people nearby, Imperial Beach lifeguards chose not to issue a formal public warning via posted signs, instead opting to verbally advise beachgoers about the sightings, Stabenow said.