As Discovery Channel’s 25th annual Shark Week came to a close, three shark sightings were reported in the Santa Barbara area in less than a month.

The most recent sighting occurred this past Sunday near Goleta Beach Pier when a fisherman spotted a 10-foot- long shark, which he said appeared to be heading back out to sea. The string of sightings began on July 25 when a shark, confirmed by the Marine Mammal Center to be a great white, attacked a mature sea lion at East Beach. A second great white was reported at Leadbetter Point last Tuesday, prompting county officials to line the coast between East Beach and Leadbetter Point with several precautionary signs. County officials posted warning signs at Goleta Beach on Sunday, with plans to keep the signs posted for up to 72 hours after the attack.

The sightings are not the first shark- related incidents to rock the Santa Barbara community. In 2010, UCSB student Lucas Ransom, 19, died after being attacked by a great white shark while boogie boarding off Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Surf Beach. The incident marked the first fatal attack in mainland Santa Barbara County’s history.

No shark sightings have been reported since this past Sunday.

— Staff Report