OCEANSIDE — A six-foot shark was spotted 400 yards off Oceanside Harbor Beach just before noon on Monday.
Oceanside lifeguards and police conducted an extensive two-hour search of the area by boat and Reach Air helicopter after a boater radioed a report of a shark leaping from the water near the mouth of the harbor.
Lifeguard Lt. Blake Faumuina said due to the credibility of the report, and the close proximity to shore where the shark was sighted, an area search was conducted.
“We don’t want to under react and have an accident occur,” Faumuina said.
The shark was not relocated, and was believed to have left the area.
It was determined there was no immediate danger, and lifeguards did not ask swimmers or surfers to leave the water.
Faumuina said the day was overcast and rainy, and the beach had low attendance.
He added that in the event the shark remained in the area, lifeguards would quickly clear the water to safeguard beachgoers.
“Safety is our number one priority,” Faumuina said.
The type of shark spotted was unknown.
Faumuina said local shark sightings are very rare. In his 20 years of service he cannot recall a confirmed sighting. Sharks normally remain below water and are not commonly seen.
In the past month there has been at least two confirmed shark sightings reported off the coast of Orange County.