Sighting of Sharks Off Huntington Beach Prompts Partial Closure

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Three sharks were spotted Sunday afternoon in waters off Huntington Beach, prompting the closure of a mile-long stretch of sand, officials said.

Signs warning of a shark sighting were posted at Sunset Beach on June 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Signs warning of a shark sighting were posted at Sunset Beach on June 5, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

An Orange County Sheriff's Department helicopter team sighted the 10-to-12-foot sharks about 2 p.m., about 150 yards from Anderson Street, said Lt. Claude Panis of the Huntington Beach Fire Department’s Marine Safety Division.

The sheriff's deputies notified lifeguards, who requested an air search by the Huntington Beach Police Department, according to Panis. Officers in a police helicopter subsequently observed the sharks in the surf zone.

A section of Sunset Beach, between Anderson and Warner streets, was immediately closed, the Fire Department said.

The closure is expected to last until at least Monday morning, when another aerial reconnoissance will be conducted, Panis said.

"We're going to reevaluate tomorrow," he added, "and if it's clear we'll reopen the water."

The sighting occurred about a week after a 52-year-old swimmer was bitten by a shark about 15 miles south of Sunset Beach, in waters off Corona del Mar State Beach. The woman was recovering after suffering "traumatic" injuries.

Correction: Lt. Claude Panis's first name was misspelled in an earlier version of this article. The post has been updated.