MANHATTAN BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Two sharks spotted off the coast of Manhattan Beach Tuesday were the latest in a series of sitings this month, prompting efforts to tag the animals for study.
L.A. County Lifeguards say the two sharks were seen about 20 yards offshore. The sharks are believed to be juvenile great whites, reportedly measuring between four and seven feet long.
Lifeguard Captain Kyle Daniels said multiple shark sitings have been reported in the area since mid-July.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium dispatched a helicopter and boat to the area to attempt to tag the sharks.
"Their goal is to actually get them on the boat or pull them into a net and then tag them so they can do research," said Daniels. "August is a great time to try to research them because they often come into closer waters to eat shoreline fish."
A surf camp was in session when the instructors noticed the boat and lifeguard's jet ski following the sharks just before noon.
"We didn't really know what he was following, and then about 50 yards outside of us the fin popped up," said surf instructor Bob Amendola.
"We saw the dorsal fin and the tail fin and we pulled all the kids out," said fellow instructor Edy Orand.
Most of the kids were impressed by the siting, including a boogie boarder at the beach with his family.
"I was swimming and it looked like a gray, small shark," Ryan Doyle told CBS2's Serene Branson.
The El Porto beach area in Manhattan Beach was briefly closed to the public July 9 when a great white shark juvenile was reported in the area.
Lifeguards say they have not been aggressive and there are no swimming restrictions in place, though swimmers are encouraged to swim where lifeguards are present.
"We have fully staffed lifeguard towers through Labor Day weekend and we're encouraging everybody to swim near lifeguards," said Daniels. "We will continue to advise if we see more sharks and let people know that there are sharks in the area, but not to be too afraid."
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