Coronado lifeguards posted warning signs to let the beach-going public know that a mature white shark was observed just off the shore in the North Beach area on Tuesday, May 26.
Lifeguards decided not to close the beach because the shark, which measured approximately 12 feet in length, was not seen engaging with anyone in the water. The lifeguard was out on a paddle board about 100 yards from the shoreline, just past the surf in 6 to 8 feet of water, just before 2 p.m. when he saw the shark appear next to him. It was larger than his 11-foot paddle board.
Following statewide protocol developed by the California Marine Safety Chiefs Association in conjunction with the Shark Lab at California State University, Long Beach, the beach was not closed but posted, based on the sighting with no engagement.
“Under the agreed upon protocol, the City is not required to close the beach or publicly report the sightings,” said City Manager Blair King. “However, in this instance, the City feels it’s important for the community to know about this sighting and that lifeguards are carefully monitoring the waters.”
King added that sharks are an important part of the local ecology and that closing the beach may cause an unwarranted overreaction. Swimmers and surfers, however, should be aware of the risks.
Signs are posted from the Main Tower at Central Beach north to Tower 6C, which is just south of the pedestrian entrance to North Beach. This will include signage at the entrance to both North Beach and Central Beach.
The signage will remain in place for 24 hours unless there are additional observations. In addition, the City was scheduled to host morning lifeguard tryouts Wednesday, May 27, but that has been suspended for now.