Divers report seeing great white shark off La Jolla Cove

A lifeguard makes a sweep off La Jolla Cove Thursday afternoon after a great white shark sighting was reported. Photo: Anne Cleveland

By Kathy Day
Staff Writer

Lifeguards confirmed Thursday afternoon that two divers reported seeing a five-foot-long great white shark 30 feet under water north of the A buoy near La Jolla Cove earlier in the day.

The lifeguard dispatcher on duty said the sighting occurred about 500 feet offshore.

The beach was closed for a while as lifeguards patrolled the area on personal watercraft, said Anne Cleveland, a regular Cove swimmer who had been in the water earlier.

Lifeguards were allowing people back in the water by about 3:45 p.m. although an advisory remained in effect, she added.

She said an experienced divemaster was in the water a student when they saw the shark.

“She was able to identify it as a juvenile great white (shark),” Cleveland said, noting that the shark was described as 5- to 7-feet long.

Even as she chatted with fellow Cove regulars about their next swimming “date,” Cleveland described the scene. People were talking about the sighting and media crews were arriving.

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Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=35379

Posted by Kathy Day on Feb 10, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

14 Comments for “Divers report seeing great white shark off La Jolla Cove”

  1. Waitingtohappen

    Good thing we have the "Friends of the Seals" to watch out for us and future generations. When someone gets bit, make sure to thank them for creating an unnatural imbalance in the environment that they CLAIM to care so much about in their propaganda.
    This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • Do your research. This was not a white shark, people easily mistake Salmon sharks for white sharks. Additionally, the increased Seal Population is minimal at best, and White Sharks that are capable of attacking a human will never ever come near the cove. Research has shown that larger sharks such as Great Whites will avoid kelp forests at ALL COSTS due to entanglement. So yea, you’ll never see a 10ft + white shark here.

      On top of that, juvenile white sharks (like the one described here, even though it was mis-identified), will not and cannot physically attack a human being or a sea lion. They simply don’t do it, and physically don’t have the mouth to do so. Juvenile sharks will only attack small fish.

  2. Wayne

    I am not surprised by the sighting. I swam on Wednesday evening at 4:45 and there were easily 150 seals/sea lions in the water and on the rocks in front of the Cove. I have been a regular swimmer at the cove since 2003 and there has never been this many pinnepeds, not even remotely. With all that shark food in the water there will be more sightings and someone will die by a shark attack. It's scary


    I totally agree. The friends of seals are not from La Jolla. They have created a situation that should not exist. Now the sharks are here. Isnt it lovely. I was born and raised in La Jolla and 90% of La Jollans dont want the seals here. Now when we swim we have polluted waters that are unhealthy, sharks swimming around, seals defending territorries, and envoirmentalists screaming at us. Its so sad. Because dredging was not allowed a man made pennipark has been created. Its not natural at all and now we La Jollans have to pay the price. Do people have to start dying before we wake-up ?

    • Fact Checker

      90%? Explain to us where you get these statistics!

      • Sue

        @ Fact Checker.. thank you, the statistics are a lie and “LJ NATIVE’s” comment is filled with lies and inaccuracies.

    • Sue

      the friends of the seals ARE from la jolla.. get your facts straight
      “LJ NATIVE”. the people that are against the seals/sea lions DO NOT LIVE HERE IN LA JOLLA! I have lived here for many years.. and know firsthand of the people that are protecting the seals and sea lions in their natural habitat. I also know of the vicious people that come from inland (NOT LA JOLLA) to harass the seals and sea lions regularly.. it is their mission to drive them away. they deprive all that come to LJ of the experience to witness these animals in their natural habitat.

      once again, you are again wrong when you say that 90% of la jollan’s don’t want the seals. PLEASE stop spreading lies. they’ve actually proved that 95% of the children that were asked want the seals at the “children’s pool.” sharks, seals and sea lions deserve to be in the ocean.. it is theirs… not ours! we are just lucky enough to share it with them! Sad how foolish people are who don’t realize this…perhaps a better word is selfish.

      you’re just another “native” (supposedly) with a sense of entitlement.. only caring about yourself.

  4. These so called menacing white shark reports are in fact 'Salmon sharks' (Lamna ditropis), the white sharks come thru in the Spring and early Summer while the juvenile salmon sharks move south during winter from Alaska/Aleutians to Northern Mexico and deepmoffshore Eastern Pacific. The Pelagic Shark Research Foundation and the California Dept of Fish and Game have together with UC researchers gathered several beached salmon sharks in recent weeks. All of these specimens were initially reported as 'baby white sharks' when in fact they are proven to be juvenile salmon sharks (1-2 yo) every time. White shark popilations are NOT rapidly increasing and in fact most reports are erroneous and/or bogus claims. Even if it were a juvenile white sharks they dont prey on seals until subadult or adult (8-10 feet long) and appear uninterested in humans anyway. The shark's bad reputation coupled with public misinformation lends itself to rumor and the ever hysterical 'Shark Attack Industry' which doesnt get any biznitch unless people are scared of or alarmed by the fact that sharks are in the ocean.

    Enjoy the sea, there are a great many swimming pools and hot tubs for those who resent or want to control the ocean and it's denizens.

    We live in an ocean paradise with dolphins, whales, seals and of course sharks.
    When one considers the number of people in and out of the water on a seasonal/daily basis one can see that the sharks are in fact very well behaved and just doing there job.

    Hurray for California!!!

    S.R. Van Sommeran
    Executive Director
    Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
    Santa Cruz California
    Since 1990 — Now on facebook!!!

  5. npk32

    Why doesn't the Light check with the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation before reporting on a story like this? It's too bad that the same facts being overlooked by reporters will be overlooked by the pro shared access crowd as well.

    • Jonathon

      Would you have clicked on this if it was about Salmon Sharks? I wouldnt have. Journalism is a pale shade of what it once was, its mostly our fault for allowing it for so long. As I live on the East Coast I am not familiar with La Jollas seal issues but I agree that cultivating an environment where there are excessive numbers of these animals near popular swimming areas is a recipe for disaster. Sadly some (not all by any means) environuts would rather have people attacked by a Great White then harm a seal.

  6. Johnathon,
    That was cheap, rather then allege a fiendish preference on behalf of the various conservation, marine mammal and wildlife management concerns involved with this issue one could question the motive of those who insist on relaxing and bathing at a beachhead well known for not only seals, sealions and sharks but bottlenose dolphins, shoals off bait fish, sea birds etc. It is the ocean after all, and La Jolla has a hysteria about sharks dating back to the late 1950's and it's absurd to discuss shark sightings as anything new, or unusual in terms of alleged menace.

    I think perspective and individual responsibility should be taken into account, water quality, including curbside runoff and sewage is more of a hazard these days than the sharks are.

    Support Ca AB 376 (end sharkfin poaching in California)

  7. justin

    I travelled to La Jolla from Nj last weekend. What a beautiful place. We enjoyed the seals and birds> we were amazed at how the swimmers and pinnipeds swam in such close proximity. We really could not believe that there has never been an incident with the great white population in the pacific. On the east coast, at the cape, where there are seals there are sure to be whites. It’s a fact, Chatham Ma. and all along the Cape Cod Nat’l seashore. We came to La Jolla Oct 2013 and saw vigilant lifeguards and what I thought was a shark spotting tower. All I can say is “all eyes” folks. It’s a situation to me that seems inevitable. It’s only a matter of time before gw’s discover an easy meal. Just wanted to add my thoughts on it..All in what a nice place and people.

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