Woman dead after shark attack at Waihi Beach

A woman has died at Waihi Beach in the Bay of Plenty after what was believed to be a shark attack.

A police spokesperson told Newshub emergency services were called to the scene at 5:10pm on Thursday, with "initial indications [suggesting] she may have been injured by a shark".

"Sadly she died at the scene a short time later."

Two ambulances, a rapid response team, and a rescue helicopter were sent to the scene, a St John spokesperson said.

Lifeguards on jet skis were seen out in the surf shortly afterwards appearing to check on those in the water.

Police said the death will be referred to the coroner.

One beachgoer, Maxine, was there with her husband when the incident happened and told Newshub there were plenty of people at the beach when it occurred.

"My husband went down for a swim and got told to get out because there'd been a shark attack," she said.

"He just realised that the water had a real sharky feel to it and the beach was quite eerie."

She added beach authorities had to get a lot of people out of the water.