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Great White Shark Spotted Off Torrey Pines State Beach

A sign warning beachgoers of a great white shark spotted just off shore is sh...

Photo by KGTV

Above: A sign warning beachgoers of a great white shark spotted just off shore is shown at Torrey Pines State Beach on May 31, 2021.

Surfers and swimmers off Torrey Pines State Beach had some unexpected company in the water on Memorial Day — a great white shark spotted within sight of the shoreline.

Lifeguards saw it around 2:30 p.m. Monday. They immediately made the announcement to beachgoers.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

“We did have a shark that did attack a sea lion. If you want to be out there, it’s your choice," they said over loudspeakers.

Lifeguards took a boat out to investigate. They confirmed it was a juvenile great white, between 6 and 7-feet.

“It wasn’t showing any aggressive behavior to anyone in the water. There’s no reports of bumping or swimming around somebody. It was just spotted chasing a marine mammal, trying to eat," said Lt. Rick Romero of the San Diego Lifeguard Service.

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Lifeguards put up warning signs and parents kept their kids safely on the sand.

“It’s still kind of scary. We made sure like our kids, you know my daughter and our nieces and nephews just kind of stayed by the shoreline," said one man.

Because the shark wasn’t acting in a threatening way toward humans, lifeguards did not close the beach.

If you’re out on the water and you see what you think is a shark, Lt. Romero had one very simple and easy-to-remember piece of advice: “Stay safe and, yeah, you definitely want to come into the beach and let us know.”

Lt. Romero said we can expect more sightings of great whites as we move through summer and as far as the ecosystem goes, that’s a very good thing.

“They are definitely showing an increase in the population which is great. They’re part of the whole food chain," Romero said.

A food chain that, fortunately, does not include humans.


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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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