A shark sighting off California’s Orange County coast Thursday led to the temporary closure of popular beaches in Newport and Huntington. Surfers, swimmers and others were not allowed in the waters Thursday night, according to the Associated Press.
Newport Beach lifeguard Battalion Chief Mike Halphide told the Orange County Register that the nearly 8-foot-long shark behaved aggressively and hit the surfboard of an off-duty lifeguard. The shark also lifted the board nearly a foot above the water off Huntington State Beach. The lifeguard was unharmed.
“That, in terms of our protocol, classifies it as aggressive behavior,” Halphide reportedly said.
The sighting led to a closure from Tower 56 to 74, which included Newport and Huntington State Beach, according to reports. It remained unclear when the area would reopen.
In June, six shark attacks were recorded in the United States, all of them off the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina. In the most recent attacks, a teenage boy sustained severe injuries to his right calf, buttocks and both hands in a shark attack that occurred while he was swimming in the Outer Banks off the North Carolina coast. A 47-year-old man was wounded a mile north of a fishing pier in Avon, North Carolina. He was playing with his children when a shark bit him on the back of his leg.