A great white shark sighting off Manhattan Beach has raised alarm in the area, but local authorities insist that the danger has been over-hyped.
The finned predator was spotted by eyewitnesses several times on Friday, triggering a wave of fear among those who had caught a glimpse of it.
Initially, during early morning, a shark was seen by professional photographer Brent Broza, near Manhattan Beach. Afterwards, at around 10:49 a.m., there were reports probably referring to the same animal, which had been identified in the waters near Huntington Beach.
Apparently, the shark had been noticed by a pilot flying an Anaheim police chopper, in the vicinity of Beach Boulevard.
Upon being notified of the fact that the shark had been swimming so close to the shore, life guards banned beachgoers from entering the water.
Initially, it had been estimated that the marine animal was around 10 to 12 feet in length, according to Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lieutenant Claude Panis.
However, when a lifeguard drove a jet-sky near the shark, in order to assess the situation more accurately, the real proportions of the threatening creature became known.
It actually measured just around 7 feet, its size therefore corresponding to a baby juvenile great white shark.
Similar encounters of this kind had been reported before throughout the area, and there hadn’t been any incidents or injuries related to these young animals.
Eventually, officials managed to banish the shark farther from the shore, into the open ocean. As a result, the restriction was shortly lifted, after just around 15 minutes, given that authorities announced that the shark had been scared away, and didn’t pose significant danger after all, given its diminutive size.
Warning signs regarding the sightings were however placed in the area, approximately one mile south and north of the Huntington Beach Pier.
These advisory notices will remain near the shore for around 24 hours, until Saturday morning, so as to warn swimmers about the potential risk they might be exposing themselves to, being so close to a live shark.
Similar sightings mentioning the presence of a shark near the coast occurred at around 12:30 p.m, approximately 200 yards off El Porto, close to Manhattan Beach.
Apparently, it was once again a smaller specimen, which wasn’t deemed as hazardous to tourists. As a result, the beach remained open, although warnings have been issued to those wishing to swim nearby.
Great white sharks can reach around 26 feet in length, and their staggering weight can climb up to 7,000 pounds.
Despite the fearsome reputation these aquatic carnivores have, the actual risk that an American faces of dying in a shark attack is of around 1 in 3.7 million, lower than the probability of being killed by lighting ( 1 in 79,746) or by fireworks (1 in 340,733).
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