Shhark sightings around Southern California are way up. Lifeguards are on high alert, and crowds–in some places, at least–are thinning out. On Sunday, lifeguards in San Clemente ordered everyone out of the water after 25 sharks were spotted disturbingly close to shore.
According to the LA Times, the whole thing kicked off when a fisherman saw a shark off the end of the San Clemente Pier. Soon after, more sightings came in, some putting the size of some of the sharks at 10 feet. Signs were posted and beaches were closed. A few hours later, just after 4 pm, the Sheriff’s department took a helicopter up to have a look. What they saw was a little frightening. Between Cotton’s Point and Capistrano Beach, the crew spotted upwards of 25 sharks, according to Nicolas Giugni, one of the coastal city’s marine safety officers.
“Some of the sharks came within 25 yards of the beach and measured as long as 10 feet — a length, he added, that made the decision for another closure an easy call,” wrote Marisa Gerber for the LA Times.
Sightings aren’t uncommon, but beach closures normally are. Lifeguards take a few things into account when deciding to pull ocean-goers from the ocean: sharks larger than eight-feet or sharks swimming in predatory patterns.