Originally published August 26, 2011 at 10:26 a.m., updated August 26, 2011 at 3:39 p.m.
Mission Beach Closed Again After Another Shark Sighting
On one of the hottest days of the summer, swimmers aren't allowed to cool off in the Pacific Ocean at San Diego's Mission Beach.
For the second day in a row, San Diego lifeguards closed a two mile stretch of Mission Beach after a shark's dorsal fin was reportedly seen in the ocean off Tower 13 Friday at 8 a.m.
A helicopter made passes back and forth over the area searching for the shark, and lifeguards in a patrol boat also scanned the ocean waters.
Vacationers and San Diegans flock to Mission Beach due to the ample parking and scenic shores. The area is usually jammed on summer days, even more so when record heat inland drives people to seek the cooler coast.
Despite Thursday's sighting, some people braved the surf. Pat McBee of Las Vegas said he's been coming to the same area of South Mission Beach for the past 15 years.
He said lifeguards chased him out of the water near Tower 11 Friday morning, just south of the reported shark sighting.
"I was out earlier this morning before the lifeguards got here,” said McBee, sitting on a beach chair with boogie boards next to him. “I did not see any dorsal fins or sharks, it's the biggest joke in the world."
McBee said he was told to get out the water twice yesterday.
Longtime Mission Beach resident Harvey Stewart said he's never seen the popular beach closed in the more than 40 years he has lived here.
"All the people I talk to that are locals here, they don't remember it ever closing for that, it's kind of unheard of,” said Stewart, as a helicopter flew over the area. “You know there's sharks out there, I mean they live in the water. But I've never heard of them closing it, it's kind of surprising."
The shark's dorsal fin was spotted about 8 a.m. Friday, shortly after the same stretch of beach reopened following another shark sighting Thursday by a lifeguard who believed he spotted a great white shark.
Maurice Luque with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said the fin seen Friday was about 14 inches tall and was about 100 yards from a lifeguard tower.
Officials say the beach will reopen tomorrow.
City News Service contributed to this report.