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Great white shark is spotted off Imperial Beach in rare sighting

January 25, 2012 |  4:09 pm

Shark-warning signs have been posted at Imperial Beach south of San Diego after an early morning surfer spotted a great white shark Tuesday.

Robert Stabenow, an Imperial Beach lifeguard captain, said the signs will remain until at least Friday. If there is a second shark sighting, the beach will be closed, he said.

Sharks are rare off Imperial Beach.

"In 30 years as a lifeguard, I've never known a lifeguard to actually spot a shark here," Stabenow said.

It is more frequent that swimmers or surfers mistake a dolphin fin for a shark, he said. But the surfer on Tuesday took a picture of the animal, which shark specialists later verified as a great white shark.

Last summer, beaches at Mission Beach and La Jolla were closed after shark sightings.

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