11.50AM: THE school of baitfish the shark was following has moved on from Sawtell Beach and as a result the beach has now been reopened.

Coffs Harbour Lifeguard coordinator Greg Hackfath confirmed he'd received contact from senior lifeguard Sonny Tisdell who was closely monitoring the situation and declared the beach safe.

Earlier this morning a shark was sighted by a light airplane flying over the area.

Lifeguards at Sawtell Beach closed the beach when the school of fish came in too close to the shore.

"The chance of being bitten is actually pretty slim unless you go swimming through the baitfish," Mr Hackfath said.

Never the less, the safety of all swimmers is paramount and the beach was closed until the baitfish moved on.

The type of shark remained unconfirmed but Mr Hackfath said his experience leads him to believe it was a bull shark. Being spotted from the air means the shark is probably somewhere between six to seven feet in length, possibly bigger. 

11.00AM: SAWTELL Beach has been temporarily closed after a confirmed shark sighting.

The shark is believed to have been following bait fish.

The beach will be reopened when it is deemed safe for swimmers.

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