Shark Drone Shock Lifeguards: Multiple 5-To-6-Foot Great White Sharks Pack Near California Shoreline

Heather Tooley

A new shark drone used by Southland lifeguards in California reveal shocking evidence of the number of sharks swimming near the shoreline at Seal Beach. It wasn't something lifeguards there were prepared to see.

The Chief Seal Beach Lifeguard, Joe Bailey, tells CBS News Los Angeles that there were numerous sharks captured by the drone on Monday morning.

"This morning, we launched it and 10 minutes later, we knew there were 10 to 12 sharks all in the Surfside [Beach] area."

Bailey loves the shark drone. It's easy and safe for everyone to see where the creatures are and when to steer clear of them.

"It works great. It flies up about 100 feet, looks down a wide area, and when we see the shadows, we'll go down and focus in on them."

Seal Beach will close if larger, more threatening sharks are detected in the water, Bailey says.

"If we get bigger sharks or we get sharks that are aggressive, we're actually going to close the water. But right now, we have sharks that are 5- to 6-feet long, non-aggressive, acting like normal sharks, feeding on bottom fish, doing exactly what we would expect them to do. That's why we have it posted just to let people know that they are there."

Prior to utilizing the shark drone, Bailey told the Orange County Register that lifeguards had to go out on jet-skis to locate sharks. It was "hit or miss" over whether they could see them. The whole process would take about two hours for a lifeguard to scour the area, but with a drone, it's a surefire way to see what's out there within 10 minutes.

"We're also able to see how big the sharks are what their behavior is," Bailey adds. "It's been a great tool for us."

On Tuesday, there were about 10 Great Whites "cruising along, hanging out," Bailey said.

Bailey said lifeguards have sent parents letters and informing them that their children's safety is their No. 1 one priority. The lifeguards won't "hesitate to pull them out" of the water if they deem anything unsafe.

[Photo Credit: CBS Los Angeles/Twitter]

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