Great white shark forces evacuation of Massachusetts beach

The appearance of a huge great white shark in Massachusetts forced the evacuation of a beach, sparking numerous Jaws-related jokes.

The shark - believed to be between 12-14 feet - was spotted by a police helicopter around 75 yards off the Duxbury coast on Monday.

Officials immediately evacuated the beach, as police continued to monitor the shark's movement.

"You can’t tell people shark in the water - that’d be pandemonium,” lifeguard Peter Emmett told CBS Boston.

Credit: Massachusetts State Police
Credit: Massachusetts State Police

The beach was reopened a short time later once the shark disappeared into deeper water, but beachgoers were warned to "swim at your own risk".

Its appearance prompted jokes on social media, with many commenting on the fact iconic film Jaws was filmed in Massachusetts.