Sunday, September 03, 2006

Two other beaches are closed due to shark sightings

The waters at all Port San Luis beaches - Avila Beach, Olde Port Beach and Fishermen's Beach - will be closed to people through Labor Day weekend, according to Harbor District officials.

The waters had been closed since last Friday evening due to a credible great white shark sighting in the bay and were expected to reopen at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

However, another credible sighting of a great white shark in the bay Wednesday morning prompted a five-day extension of the water closure, officials said.

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

The sand will remain open during the five-day closure and advisory signs have been posted alerting the public of the sighting.

Advisory signs will also be posted at Pismo Beach warning the public to enter the water at their own risk. The city doesn't have the authority to close the water as does the Harbor District.
A Harbor District ordinance allows the water's closure for five days after a credible report of a shark sighting .

“When we post the signs, we're not saying that the beaches are dangerous and then safe five days later,” said Mike Harkness, California Department of Forestry/Pismo Beach Fire Department battalion chief. “We are saying we believe there's a perceived elevated level of risk and (warning people) to enter the water at their own risk.”

Officials expect to reopen the waters in Port San Luis at 7 a.m. Monday, if there isn't another credible sighting between now and then. Advisory signs will also be taken down at that point.


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