Shark sighting closes popular beach

The sighting of a school of sharks has closed Pauanui Beach.

A group of about eight sharks was spotted near the shore of the popular Coromandel spot.

Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club head lifeguard Martine Smith says it wasn't hard to get everyone out of the water.

"It's just protocol, Surf Life Saving New Zealand states that upon a lifeguard seeing a shark the beach must be closed for 60 minutes and all swimmers must be told. And a lot of the time we ask them to obviously leave the water."

Ms Smith says cloudy conditions mean they can't tell if the sharks are still out there, but they won't be reopening the beach for at least another hour.

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