25 Sharks Were Spotted Off San Clemente Yesterday
Just another manic Sunday.
Since April, Orange County beaches have been closed three times due to shark sightings. To residents of the area, this is an unprecedented frequency. From my teenage years through my early twenties red lifeguard trunks, bouys and driving emergency trucks on the beach from Laguna to San Clemente got me through financially. And, in the nine years I spent trying to prevent adults with babies from sliding off rock outcroppings, pulling people from rip currents, digging my truck out of the sand, the occasional fight, deer on the beach or drowning, we never once closed a beach due to shark activity. The most common shark sightings were dolphins and when people walked up to our towers or trucks inquiring about sharks, we’d respond with “yeah, it’s the ocean”–although, most of us had never actually seen one. Today, however, it’s become the new normal.
Yesterday, a fisherman spotted a shark off the San Clemente pier and a beach closure was instated around 10:30 am. According to the LA Times, “A sheriff’s helicopter did a flyover at 4 pm, and the crew observed more than two dozen sharks between Cotton’s Point and Capistrano Beach.”
This falls on the back end of the attack at Church, the OC Sheriff copter documenting 15 great whites off the same coast two weeks ago, another 10 spotted off the coast of Long Beach and more tales of people getting chased out of the water than ever before in Orange County’s history.
The frequency of Southern California’s weekly shark headlines doesn’t show any sign of stopping. The general sentiment is the Great White shark population off the coast is increasing and it's partially due to better ocean quality and higher sea temps. The occasional sighting of a juvenile off Trails has turned to sharks ranging from eight to 12 feet and packs of 10 to 25 swimming less than 50 yards from shore.
In San Clemente, there's no need to throw gas on the shark hysteria flame. It's raging.