24 Dec 2010

Mt Maunganui beach open again after shark alert

7:48 pm on 24 December 2010

Mount Maunganui locals are not allowing a shark scare to stop them from enjoying the beach.

A snorkeller saw a shark at the southern end of the beach on Thursday afternoon and the beach was shut as a precaution.

The local surf lifesaving club says the beach is rarely closed, though sharks are often sighted, and is open again on Friday.

The owner of the Bay Palm Motel in Mount Maunganui, Gail Fagan, says visitors were initially frightened but have since returned to the beach.

The Department of Conservation says the shark was most likely a bronze whaler, which are quite common at this time of year.