A seven-foot shark was seen swimming around the Pismo Beach Pier earlier this week.
The shark is believed to be a great white shark.
The discovery of the shark led CAL FIRE and Pismo Beach Police to respond quickly.
“We take any type of dangerous marine animal sighting very seriously,” said CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Paul Lee. “We fill out a report, make sure it's credible, and once it's credible we have an alerting process, not only here on the beach through our towers and through verbal communication, but we also notify the beaches to the north and south of us in case that animal does go north or south.”
The beach is now featuring a red flag warning following the sighting.
“You can see right now our flags are red,” said Lee. “That means that we have seen a shark or dangerous marine animals in the last three days.”
Ralph Collier, President of Shark Research Committee, and author of “Shark Attacks of the 20th Century,” says the shark seen at Pismo Beach was a juvenile, meaning it’s still in its development.
“All sharks are dangerous, and any animal can be dangerous,” said Collier. “Generally, these smaller sharks are not interested in humans. If you do not provoke the animal, you generally will avoid humans."
Swimmers and surfers are encouraged to pay attention to their surroundings while at the beach.
“All we're here to do is to remind people that the ocean is a very dynamic place and that, if we do see something, we want to get out and let people know,” said Lee. “At the end of the day, a beach being a public place, we want people to recreate with good knowledge about what's going on around them.”
“Don't let it keep you from the water,” said Collier. “If you get a shark that comes in close to shore and he's finning, you can see his dorsal fin, then that's obvious. Don't go out there.”
The red flag warning will remain in effect throughout the day Friday.
There have been no reports of a shark sighting in Pismo Beach since the initial report two days ago.
It is recommended for people who choose to swim following a shark sighting not to wear ankle bracelets or bathing suits with bright contrasting colors as sharks may be attracted to them.