A surfer had just dropped into a wave south of the Pismo Beach pier Tuesday afternoon when he looked down and spotted what appeared to be a large shark in the water beneath him.
The surfer and his friend didn’t waste any time in getting back to the beach to report the sighting about 2:30 p.m., Battalion Chief Steve Reeder of the Cal Fire/Pismo Beach Fire Department said Wednesday.
“They came in immediately,” he said. “They were a little nervous.”
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Reeder interviewed the surfer and, based on his description, confirmed the sighting was credible.
Warnings have been posted at the beach in Pismo Beach, and Reeder said he alerted State Parks officials at Oceano Dunes and Port San Luis Harbor District so they could post warnings in Oceano and Avila Beach.
Officials said the beach will remain open. Signs warn beachgoers to swim at their own risk.
The surfer said he saw a shark about 12 feet in length outside the surf line near the Pismo Beach pier. The surfers were located about 30 yards from the beach, and seals were reported in the area as well.
Meanwhile, Pismo Beach police Sgt. Bryan Cox said a caller reported seeing a light-gray-colored fin at the end of the Pismo Beach pier about 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Another credible shark sighting was reported Saturday, this one spotted by a surfer on the north side of the pier, Reeder said.
“This is the time of year it seems every year that we get a lot of shark sightings in the area,” Reeder said, “up and down the coast.”
The type of shark the surfers spotted is unknown. However, great white sharks often congregate in San Luis Obispo County waters at this time of year to feed on the profusion of seals and sea lions.
Last September, state wildlife authorities told The Tribune that great white shark activity had increased notably. They noticed a jump last August and September in credible sightings and a larger-than-normal number of attacks on otters, particularly in the Morro Bay and Pismo Beach areas.