Sharks force swimmers out of water at popular Coromandel beach

Hundreds of swimmers fled to safety after a large shark was seen in the shallows of a popular Coromandel beach.

Matarangi Beach was left nearly deserted yesterday afternoon after locals spotted a large shark among swimmers close to the shore.

Matarangi Volunteer Rural Fire chief Stu Arnold said rather than risk a shark attack, a decision was made to warn everyone at the beach about the sighting.