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Orange County waters reopen after sighting of large sharks; smaller ones remain

Lifeguards are keeping a stretch of shoreline between Sunset Beach and Bolsa Chica State Beach closed to swimmers and surfers after a shark sighting.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

A day after a shark was spotted in the waters off Huntington Beach for a second day in a row, authorities have reopened two miles of beach to Orange County swimmers, officials said.

Lifeguards “scoured” the waters in search of the 12-foot predator and its comrades, but only found smaller ones, Huntington Beach officials said.

As a result, the beach was reopened as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, the city said in a statement.

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Shark advisory signs were posted to warn swimmers of the recent sightings.

On Monday afternoon, a police helicopter was conducting a routine flyover of the coast when officials spotted three sharks near Anderson Street, close to the border between Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, according to Lt. Claude Panis with the Huntington Beach Fire Department’s Marine Safety Division.

The sharks measured 10 to 12 feet in length and were seen about 50 yards from the shore, Panis added.

Officials restricted swimming in Sunset Beach and adjoining Surfside Beach in Seal Beach. The same stretch of sand was closed Sunday afternoon after an Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter spotted sharks near Anderson Street, Panis said.

The beaches were reopened about 10:30 a.m. Monday after public safety officials surveyed the water off the coast by drone, boat and helicopter and did not spot any sharks, according to Joe Bailey, the chief of the Seal Beach Marine Safety and Lifeguards Department.

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The beach closures come a week after a 52-year-old woman was attacked by a shark while swimming off the coast of Newport Beach.

No attacks or aggressive behavior by sharks were reported by Huntington Beach. Officials said the restriction on swimming and surfing was a precaution.

Staff writer Matt Hamilton contributed to this report

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