Surfers going out to an enjoy a morning surf at T-street despite the recent shark sightings. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
For the third time in just a few weeks the beaches in San Clemente have been closed due to three separate shark sightings, the most recent which took place last Friday, April 17.
The first sighting was reported by a fisherman who spotted a shark estimated to be six to seven feet long swimming near the San Clemente Pier on Thursday, April 9 around 7 p.m.
The second shark spotting came the following morning by a surfer at T Street Beach. Lifeguards later spotted the shark and ended up following it by jet ski for over an hour and a half.
The species of shark was not specified during either of these spottings.
Regardless, lifeguards cleared the beaches of swimmers and surfers a mile north and south of T Street for the day. Signs were posted warning beach goers of the dangers.
The third sighting this month came just last Friday, after over 20 surfers confirmed seeing a white shark in pursuit of a baby sea lion at Cotton’s Point according to Surfline.com.
State lifeguards immediately cleared the water of all surfers and swimmers at all of the Trestles breaks.
Eric Geiselman captured a shark the same day on video, which he posted to Instagram.
The ocean off San Clemente is an area populated with sharks, but the recent large number of sightings have kept lifeguards on alert.
Pacific Ocean coastal waters are 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer this year, making finding food more difficult for seals and sea lions; as a result, females are abandoning their pups to search for food, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This increase of vulnerable pups provide easy food for hungry sharks.