Stretch of Newport Beach Closed After Video Appears to Show Hammerhead Shark Near Pier

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A stretch of Newport Beach was closed Monday morning after a visitor captured video of a what appeared to be a hammerhead shark swimming near the pier.

Madison Newsom was walking at the beach with her mother and father when they heard someone say "get out of the water," she told KTLA.

Newsom went to take a look and saw what is believed to be a hammerhead shark swimming in the water.

“We saw this huge hammerhead shark just swimming through, minding its own business,” Newsom said.

Newsom alerted lifeguards and brought them video footage of the shark, she said.

Officials then closed the water from 10th to 44th streets after confirming the sighting of the 8-foot shark, the Newport Beach Lifeguards' Twitter account stated.

The beach was closed out of an "abundance of caution," said Mike Halphide, battalion chief for the lifeguards.

“The shark wasn’t aggressive, it wasn’t going toward people," Halphide said.

Lifeguards were monitoring the area and planned to reevaluate the closure later in the afternoon, according to their Twitter account.

This year’s El Niño conditions are attracting more sharks, including hammerheads, to the Southern California coast, the Huntington Beach Independent reported.

"You've got a whole tropical food chain that's moved into our neighborhood," Cal State Long Beach marine biology professor Chris Lowe told the newspaper. "That warm water is bringing that food up here, and that food is being followed by its predators. That's how we get that subtropical food web that we normally don't have showing up here."

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