The San Clemente Pier where a shark was sighted. Photo by Don Ramey Logan Jr. via Wikimedia Commons

San Clemente’s beaches will remain off limits to swimmers Tuesday morning after being reopened only briefly on Monday.

Lifeguards first closed the city’s beaches around 10:30 a.m. Sunday after an eight to nine-foot shark was spotted off the San Clemente Pier. Another shark was spotted off the pier at 1 p.m.

The closure was extended at 4 p.m. after an Orange County Sheriff‘s helicopter spotted more than two dozen sharks within 25 yards of the beach between Cotton’s Point and Capistrano Beach, some up to 10 feet long.

The beaches were reopened around 8 a.m. Monday morning, with lifeguards posting signs advising beachgoers to “swim at your own risk, but were closed again by 9:45 a.m. A 12-foot shark and a 10-footer were spotted around 8:15 a.m., then some 20 sharks were counted between San Clemente Pier and Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, prompting a decision to close San Clemente beaches once again and reassess the situation this morning, the Orange County Register reported.

San Clemente’s beaches were closed in April when a shark bit a woman in the thigh and earlier this month when 15 sharks were observed swimming offshore.

Long Beach has issued shark advisories this month warning swimmers of the sightings of juvenile white sharks, some as long as six feet, near Belmont Shore.

Chris Lowe, who directs the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach, says residents should be worried about shark encounters, but also encouraged at seeing populations grow again after years of protective measures.

Shark populations are coming back, so obviously encounters will increase,” he told Vice News. They’re at the beaches for many of the same reasons we go to the beach. It’s a safe place to hang out.”

He also says warmer water could be causing them to live in places they’ve never lived before, and that rising sea levels could be pushing them closer to shores, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.