Authorities in Huntington Beach closed a stretch of beach Sunday after beachgoers brought likely shark activity to the attention of lifeguards.  

At around 3:45 p.m., lifeguards learned of a beached juvenile whale near Tower 22 in Sunset Beach. The whale, which was still alive, was suffering bite marks.  

“In speaking with those in the area, beachgoers reported seeing splashing & aggressive shark activity prior to the whale washing ashore,” the City of Huntington Beach said on X, formerly Twitter.  

  • Sunset Beach shark activity
  • Sunset Beach shark activity

Per city policy, the shoreline and ocean in the area where the shark activity was reported will be closed for a mile in each direction. Officials said this portion of Sunset Beach will be closed for 48 hours.  

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a Dec. 2022 study found that there were some 201 “confirmed shark incidents” in state waters between Jan. 1950 and Dec. 2021. Fifteen of those encounters were fatal. Another 107 caused non-fatal injuries.  

CDFW also said that on average there are fewer than three shark incidents a year.  

Officials in Huntington Beach said surrounding jurisdictions and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center have been notified of the incident.