Group of great white sharks seen lurking 50 feet from Long Beach coast

Sighting comes just days following beach warning
Posted at 5:50 PM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 21:04:58-04

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - A group of great white sharks was caught swimming just 50 feet from the coast Wednesday.

About five sharks could be seen lurking along the Long Beach coastline just after 5 p.m., according to ABC's Los Angeles affiliate KABC. spoke with shark expert Ralph Collier who addresses why the sharks are in Long Beach, whether they’ll make it down to San Diego, and more.

"These juveniles tend to stay relatively close to home, so to speak," Collier said. "They will travel a little bit. But not until they reach a length of about three meters, ten feet ... they have a rather extensive migratory pattern."

Wednesday's sighting comes after a shark warning was issued Monday when multiple sharks were spotted in the area. Towboat captains Ricky Birks and Mike Del Grande caught footage of about 13 great white sharks swimming near shore on May 2.

Also Wednesday, San Onofre State Beach issued a 48-hour warning after a shark was seen behaving "aggressively" in the same area a Vista woman was attacked just two weeks ago.

"When someone thinks a shark is aggressive, it might not mean necessarily be aggressive as it is reacting to something that they have done," Collier noted. "Sharks will strike out at objects [or people] if they feel threatened."

Leeanne Ericson, 35, was attacked at on April 29 while swimming at the San Onofre beach. She is currently recovering at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, after undergoing several surgeries with more to come. Doctors say Ericson is in "fair condition" right now.

As the beach season approaches, it's important to remember ways to minimize nasty shark encounters while in the ocean.

"It's safe. I think you have to be prudent and use a lot of common sense," Collier said. "If there are a lot of sharks in a specific area and if they appear to be agitated like they're feeding, chasing other animals, it's not a good idea to go in the water there."

Check out our full interview with Ralph Collier in the video above.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recommends:

  • Stay in groups and don't wander too far from shore because this would isolate you and decrease your chances of being rescued
  • Don't go in the water early in the water or in the dark/twilight hours when sharks are most active
  • Don't go in the water if you're bleeding
  • Don't wear shiny jewelry in the water because it resembles fish scales in the water
  • Avoid bright colored clothing
  • Don't splash too much
  • Don't go in the water if sharks are known to be present so heed those shark warnings

Mark Saunders is a KGTV digital producer. Follow him on Twitter at @10NewsSaunders.