Shark Sightings Not Enough to Close California Beaches?

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There have been a half dozen shark sightings reported off the coast of Southern California, but the beaches remain open, as lifeguards are “urging caution” while experts are saying, “there is no cause for alarm.” Talk about mixed messages.

It’s kind of like the plot of Jaws—but in reverse.

Just a week after Discovery Channel’s Shark Week ended—a series that has been criticized for sparking shark-hysteria—multiple sightings of great whites have prompted warnings from San Diego lifeguards. The decision to not close the beaches stemmed from expert’s advice on the rarity of shark attacks in the area.

According to the Los Angeles Times blog, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, Maurice Luque, said, “we didn’t close the beach, we just let people know — the scuba divers, kayakers, and swimmers — that there’s been shark sightings and just use your own judgment on whether to go out or not.”

It’s pretty well-known by now that the chances of being killed by a shark are extremely low. But they don’t issue warnings for no reason, people!

Now maybe it’s because we’ve seen one too many shark movies, but most of us here at NewsFeed think that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially when being sorry means coming face to face with a great white shark. (via L.A. Now)