Shark sightings prompt North County beach closure

OCEANSIDE, Calif. --  Lifeguards closed a two-mile stretch of beach in Oceanside Friday after several people reported seeing a large shark swimming offshore.

Reports of a 12-foot shark started coming in around 12:30 p.m., lifeguards reported. Callers said the fish was swimming about 100 yards offshore just south of the Oceanside Pier.

As a precaution, lifeguards cleared the beach of swimmers, surfers and waders for a mile north and south of the pier, officials said. They sent two lifeguard boats out to search for the shark. The Oceanside Police Department also deployed a drone to search for the shark from the air.

As of 3 p.m., the searchers had not found a shark.  Still, some local residents were concerned.

"This is bumming me out because now I’m going to be a little bit afraid, which I never have been for 50 years," said one man.

Unless other sightings or contact with the shark are reported, lifeguards expect to reopen the beach Saturday morning.