Shark Sighting at Mission Beach Most Likely a Great White

Vacationers snapped these photos on Wednesday in Mission Beach. You can see the dorsal fin of what appears to be a shark.

A two-mile stretch of Mission Beach was closed again on Friday after a reported shark sighting by a surfer. Just a day earlier the beach was closed by San Diego lifeguards after a sighting in the waters near Belmont Park.

San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesman Maurice Luque said an experienced surfer spotted the 14-inch dorsal fin of a shark swimming nearby while out with a group of surfers at approximately 8:15 a.m.

Vacationer Ella Docuyanan, of Long Beach, said her husband and brother-in-law saw what appeared to be a shark in Mission Beach on Wednesday.

“He said it did not bob up and down, characteristic of a dolphin, but just cruised up and moved across the water, coming up and down a few times, circling around,” she said. 

“Thankfully, the kids got out of the water just prior to the photos being taken!,” she said.

Lifeguards closed down a stretch of beach one mile south and one mile north of the sighting by 8:30 a.m. and the beach will remain closed for the rest of the day.

Luque said San Diego lifeguards have reached out to shark expert Dr. A. Peter “Pete” Klimley, with UC Davis.

“It is probably a white shark and it is not common that you see white sharks in your area,” said Klimey.

Klimey said that female white sharks do migrate south of San Diego to give birth in the late summer and early fall.

Klimey reviewed the photos taken by the Docuyanan family and said it, “looks like a white shark from the darkness of the fin and dorsal surface of the body, but it is difficult to estimate its size.”

Luque added that the closing is a precautionary measure and that the beach will be open on Saturday morning. No other city beaches were closed on Thursday or Friday.