The quarterfinals of a Scholastic Surf Series comp were underway at the Huntington Beach Pier Sunday afternoon when onlookers spotted a 10-foot shark. Lifeguards halted competition, ordered everyone out of the water and initiated a 24-hour beach closure.
“The shark was not aggressive. The water is closed as a precaution,” Huntington Beach lifeguards reported on their Twitter feed. The closure, which affects the water one mile in each direction of the pier, not the beach itself, is expected to last until 1 p.m. Monday. Although with rain and tiny surf conditions on tap, surfers won’t likely rush back into the lineup.
No competitors reported seeing the shark, but half a dozen competitors were hit by stingrays on Sunday, the OC Register reports.
Local surfer Dallas Heyden said that he noticed something in the water as far from the pier as Goldenwest Street. “My girlfriend and I were out surfing when I saw bubbles and something that I thought was a seal,” he told The Inertia. “Then a lifeguard truck rolled up on the sand and announced over a megaphone that a shark had been spotted. Luckily my girlfriend didn’t hear that, so calmly I told her we should probably paddle in.”
A 9-10ft shark was spotted off the pier just before 1pm. The shark was not aggressive. The water is closed as a precaution.
— Huntington Beach (@HBCityBeach) January 8, 2017