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Popular Auckland beach closed after 'large' shark sighting

Orewa Beach in Auckland's North Shore is closed today after multiple sightings of a large shark.

A shark fin. Source: 1 NEWS

Locals first reported the sighting to lifeguards at the beach yesterday but today the two-metre-long shark is still lurking, with the public being warned not to swim at the popular beach.

Surf Life Saving Northern Region duty officer Dan Short told 1 NEWS the closure is precautionary after paddleboarders this morning spotted the shark about 500 metres offshore. 

"It's not breaching or thrashing around - it seems quite calm as there's just a fin showing in the water," he said.

He said Orewa Beach is the only one closed at the moment, although Wenderholm had been closed earlier in the day. Swiiming was also not advised at nearby Hatfields and Red Beach. 

"The easiest way to check if the beach is closed is to go on the Safeswim website," he said, adding that lifeguards are also patrolling beaches talking to members of the public.

Source: Safeswim

Mr Short could not say how long Orewa Beach might be closed.

"If people are at a beach and do see a shark, the best thing to do is calmly exit the water and let a lifeguard know," he said.

"And always swim at a patrolled beach and never swim or surf alone," was his message to beachgoers.