|Beach patrol: Swimmers get shock of their lives after 2.5 metre shark decides to swim into shore to take a closer look|
What was supposed to be a gentle splash around in the shallows suddenly turned into a much scarier prospect when holiday-makers came face to face with a shark in New Zealand on Saturday.
Papamoa Beach, a popular Bay of Plenty destination, was an idyllic haven for swimmers until a shark came into the shore, swimming around in only a few feet of water.
Onlookers initially got out of the sea sharpish, but soon returned to take photographs and videos of the 2.5 metre bronze whaler as it eventually swam away.
All fears of an attack soon disappeared as children could be heard chatting and laughing happily on the shore as the fish swam around.
'Look at it, it's huge,' shouted a boy from the shore.
But before long the shark had seen enough and turned back out to sea.
The New Zealand Herald reports that shark sightings have become commonplace around the New Zealand coastline this summer, including close encounters with great white sharks in Auckland.
Two shark attacks left a surfer and fisherman with serious injuries.
In February, a surfer was mauled by a shark off the Southland coast.
Headlines were made around the world in December, when a junior Southland doctor ended up stitching up his own wound after being attacked by a shark while fishing near Cosy Nook, off the south coast.
In the last fatal shark attack in New Zealand waters, Auckland film-maker Adam Strange, 47, was killed at Muriwai on Auckland's west coast in February 2013.
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