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Oct 24, 2010 8:53 PM by Danielle Lerner

Shark sighting leads to warnings in Pismo Beach and Shell Beach

The weather was not the only thing keeping people out of the water in Shell Beach and Pismo Beach this weekend.

Warnings have been posted in both areas after a credible shark sighting in Shell Beach Saturday morning.

The sighting comes just one day after a 19-year-old UCSB student was attacked and killed by what was believed to be a great white shark.

It is a close encounter many people hope they never have.

One month ago local fishermen captured video of a great white shark about 12 miles north of Surf Beach, the very spot where a shark attacked and killed 19-year-old Lucas Ransom while he was boogie boarding Friday morning.

"Any shark is dangerous," said Rick Howard of Cal Fire in Pismo Beach.

Now a new warning, after a credible shark sighting in Shell Beach Saturday morning.

"The reporting party indicated it was 5-6 feet in length and if that was in the Shell Beach area we do have leopard sharks that inhabit the rocks and kelp bed areas," said Howard.

As a precaution the signs are posted in English and Spanish near the entrances of Shell Beach and Pismo Beach.

"It is kind of worrisome," said Roberta Weinberger, who lives in Arroyo Grande. "I'm glad there are signs, I'm glad people are paying attention."

Sharks are nothing new to our area.

Firefighters say several different species live right off the coast.

"We have obviously the great white shark, leopard shark, tiger shark, salmon sharks," said Howard.

While this latest warning has some people staying on shore, others say it is a risk they are willing to take.

"We walk the beach, we like to view the beach, but I don't go into the water," said Weinberger.

"You always know something is going to be lurking around out there somewhere, but you just got to kind of ignore that and have fun," said Bodie Kuljian, a surfer from San Luis Obispo.

"I still feel pretty safe out there, I've been surfing for a while and I haven't had any problems," said Tyler Christian, a surfer from Carlsbad.

The signs in Pismo Beach and Shell Beach will be taken down on Tuesday.

Minuteman, Surf and Wall beaches near Vandenberg Air Force Base have been closed since Friday's attack.

Officials will reconsider the closure Monday.


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