Adam Strange, a 46-year-old Australian filmmaker, was killed today when attacked by a shark about 650 feet from shore on a New Zealand beach. The original attack attracted the attention of at least three other sharks, and the animals had to be shot at multiple times to recover Strange’s body.
The Associated Press reports that Strange’s attack is one of a dozen shark attacks in New Zealand over the past 180 years.
Upon realizing that Strange was being attacked, police traveled to him in inflatable lifeboats and shot at the shark attacking Strange. Police estimate the shark was about 14 feet long.
Police Inspector Shawn Rutene said the shark disappeared after being shot at, and it is unclear whether the shark was killed or not.
Though the species of the sharks involved in the attack have not been released, it is reported that New Zealand is a habitat for great white sharks, though attacks are rare.
Strange’s family requested privacy during the time of their mourning, expressing their shock at the attack. At the time of Strange’s death, about 200 people were at the beach. The beach in question, Muriwai, and other nearby beaches are temporarily closed.
Shark attacks are reported to be rare occurrences. According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, 80 humans were attacked by sharks last year.
A witness, Pio Mose, told reporters he tried to help Strange and told Strange to swim to nearby rocks.
“All of a sudden there was blood everywhere,” he said. “I was shaking, scare, panicked. The water was red.”
Mose said he wanted to jump in to save Strange but was afraid he would be attacked, too.