Shark sightings close San Clemente beach

A 7-foot shark is spotted off of San Clemente

Shark sightings off the coast of San Clemente has shut down a beach at least through noon Saturday, officials said.

A fisherman spotted a shark near the city's municipal pier about 7 p.m. Thursday, said Ian Burton, a marine safety officer. A second shark sighting, by a surfer, came Friday about 11:30 a.m., Burton said.

Lifeguards cleared swimmers from the ocean and closed the beach one mile north and south of the lifeguard tower at T Street, he said. The beach will remain closed until noon Saturday.

If a shark is sighted again, it could remain closed longer, Burton said. Officials aren't sure what type of shark was seen or whether there is more than one in the water. Witnesses said it was 6 to 7 feet long.

Burton said fisherman often catch baby tiger sharks by accident. But bigger animals like the one spotted this week are more rare at the popular sunbathing beach, he said.

"It's still spring break," he said. "We're expecting bigger crowds tomorrow. If people have questions, they can talk to any of our lifeguards." 

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