Family mourns shark attack victim

The family of a man killed in a shark attack off an Auckland beach in New Zealand on Wednesday say he was a "glorious and great father, husband and friend".

The victim of the attack was Muriwai man Adam Strange, a well known filmmaker who was aged in his 40s.

Inspector Shawn Rutene said the man had been swimming alone from Maori Bay to Muriwai Beach, several hundred metres from shore, about 1.30pm.

A 4-metre shark, believed to be a great white, attacked Strange.

Rutene said the man's wife and family were distraught.

It took police and Muriwai lifeguards about 30 minutes to recover the body as two sharks circled.

In a tragic twist, the three lifeguards recovering the body knew the victim.

Rutene said a police officer fired at the two sharks.

"We don't know whether he hit it, but it rolled off and disappeared."

Strange's family released a statement on Wednesday night saying: "The family are grieving the loss of a glorious and great father, husband and friend."

They said they were in deep shock and requested privacy.

Strange also had a background in painting, photography and graphic design.

Police were unable to confirm the species of shark, but the Department of Conservation confirmed great whites had been spotted in the area as recently as the weekend.

Muriwai Surf Lifesaving chairman Tim Jago said the three lifeguards helping police, two aged in their twenties and one in his forties, knew the victim.

Lifeguards were shocked by the size of the shark, he said.

Beaches north of Manukau Harbour will be closed for the next two days, including Piha and Muriwai beaches.

Helicopters will patrol the area until Thursday morning and lifeguards will have a strong presence.

Jago said they have used every available "closed" beach sign to alert beachgoers.

The risk would be reassessed in two days.

WITNESS TO ATTACK

Fisherman Pio Mose told Stuff that he had seen a man swimming nearby.

"All of a sudden... we saw the shark fin and next minute, boom, attack him then blood every where on the water," he said.

He called 111 while his mate ran to get help.

"He was still alive, he put his, head up, we called him to swim over the rock to where we were.

"He raised his hand up, and then while he was rising his hand up we saw another attack pull him in the water.

stuff.co.nz

The story Family mourns shark attack victim first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop