Fin sighting of possible shark closes beaches near Children’s Pool

Lifeguards closed the beaches in La Jolla Wednesday about 1:30 p.m. after surfers said they saw a fin that they believed belonged to a large shark at Casa Reef just south of Children’s Pool.

The beach was closed for a mile in each direction as a precautionary measure, said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma. The closure will last until at least Thursday morning.

Greg Nielsen of Del Mar, one of the group who said they were surfing out in front of the elevated Children’s Pool temporary lifeguard tower, said, “There were four or five of us in the water and we saw it straight out 75 to 100 yards outside of the lineup from where we were, said

“It just wasn’t going up and down like a dolphin,” said Nielsen. “It was kind of like, right there.”

Nielsen said he didn’t see any of the body of the suspected shark just the fin.

“It was a foot and a half tall, we didn’t get a side view of it or anything, ” he said. “It didn’t look or feel like a dolphin at all: It was enough to get us out of the water.”

Nielsen said they reported the fin siting to lifeguards who told them they’d keep an eye on it and warn people.

Lerma said lifeguards determined the fin sighting was a credible report and that a large shark of sufficient size to pose a threat might be in the area, so the beaches were ordered closed.

A helicopter was called in to the area to search for a shark and was circling in the skies more than an hour later.

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