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Warning posted after shark is seen off Encinitas

October 31, 2011 |  5:28 pm

Lifeguards are advising people to stay out of the ocean off Encinitas in northern San Diego County after a surfer spotted an 8- to 10-foot Great-White shark Monday afternoon.

Although the beach has not been closed, signs are being posted advising people to stay out of the water and lifeguards are in a boat patrolling offshore, said lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles, director of marine safety for the city of Encinitas.

"The shark wasn't aggressive or threatening but the surfer was pretty concerned so we're telling people to stay clear," Giles said.

Although tourists sometimes mistake a dolphin for a shark, the surfer's sighting was considered credible because of his long experience in local waters, Giles said. The sighting occurred shortly after 3 p.m. off Beacon's Beach in Leucadia, just north of the famed Swami's surf break.

Stretches of ocean off Mission Beach and La Jolla in the city of San Diego were closed for several days in August after shark sightings.

Giles said the advisory will stay in effect until Tuesday morning.

--Tony Perry in San Diego