OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Beachgoers and fishermen in North County said they saw what appeared to be a great white shark off the Oceanside Pier Beach Tuesday morning.
Around 11 a.m., Kip Hajjar was walking on the pier with his two young children when a woman yelled, “Shark!”
He ran toward the excitement and immediately grabbed his phone to take a picture. Moments later, he said the shark swam off. Hajjar showed the picture to a marine biologist, who insisted it was a 12-foot great white shark.
However, the Oceanside Fire Department Lifeguard Division would only confirm there was a shark sighting but could not specify what type.
“The City of Oceanside and the Oceanside Fire Dept. Lifeguard Division confirmed a sighting of an approximate 6-foot shark swimming 500 yards off the Oceanside Pier Beach,” Sgt. Tyler Berry, an Oceanside lifeguard said.
“[Shark] sightings are rare along our coastline. Additionally, when seen, these animals are typically just passing through,” Berry said.
Some surfers said they were never notified or warned there was a shark sighting. They voiced concerns and were partly upset they were kept in the dark.
Lifeguards said the shark was spotted 1,600 feet from the shore, a large enough distance from beachgoers. They also determined by the size of the animal and its calm behavior it was not necessary to cause panic by making an announcement.
“[Lifeguards were] continuously monitoring the area and we notified all adjacent beaches,” Berry said.