At around 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 25, lifeguards near tower 15 in Mission Beach spotted the dorsal fin of a shark just off the coastline.
First estimates were that the shark was approximately 12 feet in length and either a mako or great white, according to Conner, a lifeguard in Mission Beach.
After the sighting, the decision was made to evacuate people from the water a distance of one mile north and one mile south of the sighting. What followed next was 90 minutes of news and Coast Guard helicopters buzzing the area, onlookers with binoculars, and teams of lifeguard, police, and Coast Guard vessels combing the shoreline.
On Friday, August 26, after the beach had been opened again for nearly two hours, at 8:45 a.m., another shark sighting prompted lifeguards to close the beach.
It is not atypical for sharks to be spotted in local waters during these late summer months, as experts say Southern California is where adults leave their offspring after pupping season.