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Closure lifted after sharks again drive surfers and swimmers from water off San Clemente

San Clemente lifeguards lifted a closure Sunday afternoon after ordering Memorial Day weekend beachgoers out of the water in the morning when four sharks were spotted near the shore.

An area one mile south and one mile north of the San Clemente Pier was closed after four sharks, one between 9 and 10 feet long, were seen.

Lifeguards reopened the area around 3:30 p.m. when they determined that the threat had diminished.

The same area was closed a week ago when two dozen great white sharks appeared off the popular surfing and swimming beach.

Juvenile great whites, typically under 8 feet in length, are common along Southern California beaches, where they feed on small fish. As they get larger, great whites start feeding on bigger marine animals, a factor lifeguards use to consider closures.

In April, a 10-foot great white shark injured a woman at San Onofre State Beach, south of San Clemente.

An Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and a drone flown off the beach by lifeguards were used to keep an eye on the sharks, said Rod Mellott, marine safety lieutenant for the city of San Clemente.

Bob.Sipchen@latimes.com

Twitter: @BobSipchen

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