A second sighting of a great white shark off Stinson Beach has prompted the National Park Service to prohibit water use through the Labor Day weekend.
“We had another sighting about 6:30 p.m. Thursday night by two visitors,” said Chris Powell, park service spokeswoman. “Our lifeguard interviewed them and felt it was a credible sighting.”
The news puts a damper on what normally is a busy holiday weekend at the beach. Typically thousands of people from around the Bay Area come to play in Stinson’s waters.
“Going into the water is definitely off limits for the holiday weekend,” Powell said. “People are welcome to come to Stinson Beach and walk along the beach, but they will not be able to go into the water.”
A sighting Sunday prompted a closure through today.
If there are no more sightings over the weekend, the beach will be re-opened Tuesday morning, Powell said.
Source: Marin Independent Journal
Reprinted from The San Jose Mercury News:
Stinson Beach will be closed to swimming and surfing until at least Tuesday after a report Thursday evening of a second shark sighting.
A local fisherman reported seeing a gray shining object about 300 feet off the north lifeguard tower around 6:45 p.m., said Michael Feinstein, Golden Gate National Recreation Area spokesman.
A surfer and former lifeguard spotted what is believed to be a great white shark around 7 p.m. Sunday 125 yards offshore, north of the beach’s main lifeguard tower.
Stinson Beach was then closed to swimming and surfing but was to reopen today, Feinstein said.
Debra Casarez, of Hercules, was sitting on the beach with her husband Jack on Thursday evening when they spotted the shark. She said they saw its head and neck rise about 3 or 4 feet out of the water.
“It looked like it was going after a pelican,” Casarez said. “There was a huge splash.”
They did not see the ominous looking, telltale fin and it was hard to estimate the shark’s size. She said her husband is an avid fisherman and he believes they saw a shark.
Casarez said an Australian man also was on the beach and he also believes the fish was a shark.
She said she feels bad the beach will be closed to swimming and surfing for the Labor Day weekend but it was better to report the sighting to the lifeguard.
Stinson Beach itself will remain open and visitors will be able to wade up to their ankles, Feinstein said. Surfing and swimming will be allowed again Tuesday if there are no additional sightings.