Sunday, September 03, 2006

Beaches closed for a few days following Great White shark sighting

The waters at Avila Beach and Port San Luis will be closed until 7 a.m. Monday morning after a shark siting was reported Wednesday, harbor officials said.

A person standing on the bluff south of Avila Pier reported seeing a great white shark feeding just outside the no boat buoys at Avila Beach. Harbor officials went through a two-page checklist with the individual and deemed it a credible shark sighting, officials said.

The harbor district’s policy created in 2003 following a fatal shark attack at Avila Beach is to close the water for five days after a shark citing. The beach will remain open.

"The five-day water use restriction is meant to be an opportunity to educate the public about specific ocean hazards," said Casey Nielsen, operations manager at Port San Luis Harbor District.

Because of the natural ecological cycle, the harbor is full of marine life that serves as bait for the sharks, officials said.


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