Unless there are more shark sightings, the plan is to reopen the water Friday afternoon, said Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis.
About 3:20 p.m. Thursday, a 44-year-old male surfer told a Marine Safety officer that a 10-foot shark swam toward him, which experts refer to as “rushing,” one of four signs of aggressive behavior that trigger officials to close the water, Panis said.
The other signs of aggression are “gaping,” when a shark opens and closes its mouth, bumping and circling, Panis said.
The surfer, who was about 60 yards out, rode a wave into shore, Panis said. The shark got within three feet of him, the lieutenant said.
Officials went up in a helicopter to see if they could spot the shark, but came up empty, Panis said. Two other people also reported seeing a shark at the same time as the surfer, so it was likely the same one, he said.
The water was closed off at Sunset, Surfside and Bolsa Chica state beaches, Panis said.
“The sand’s open, we’re just closing the water for their safety,” Panis said.
—City News Service
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