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Shark Warning System Alerting Lifeguards to Lurking Predators to Be Tested in Newport Beach

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A stretch of water off Corona del Mar State Beach will be used to test sonar buoys that could help quickly alert lifeguards to sharks lurking near the coast, officials announced Friday.

In a news conference at Inspiration Point, Newport Beach Mayor Kevin Muldoon, U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and others discussed installing six of the special buoys by Memorial Day in a roughly 1,000-yard stretch of water between the offshore rocks near Poppy and Ocean avenues and the jetty at the mouth of Newport Harbor.

The devices, designed by Australia-based Shark Mitigation Systems, are called Clever Buoys. Ian Cairns, a representative of SMS, said the buoys also use sonar sensors on the ocean floor.

Together, the buoys and ocean floor sensors can find and track nearby marine animals and, based on the swimming patterns, detect whether an animal is a shark or, say, a dolphin.

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