New Zealand – “There was blood everywhere on the water. I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and dialed 111. New Zealand police have shot at a shark, which killed a man at a beach near Auckland. The shark was possibly 14 feet long. By the time police officers reached the swimmer floating off a New Zealand beach, it was already too late: a large shark was biting the lifeless body.
The 47-year-old man was killed while swimming off Muriwai Beach, about 40 kilometres west of Auckland, about 2:00pm (local time). Police recovered the body of the swimmer, whose name was not immediately released because his relatives had yet to be notified.
Reminiscent of the movie Jaws, the attack took place off a popular beach west of Auckland on Wednesday afternoon, police said, as people gathered there to enjoy the summer sunshine. Police say the local man was 200 meters offshore when he was attacked.
Pio Mose, who was fishing at the beach, told The New Zealand Herald he saw the swimmer struggle against the “huge” shark. He told the man to swim to the rocks, but it was too late.
A police officer shot the shark from a boat after joining surf lifeguards in an attempt to rescue the victim. Mose said he believed at least two other sharks had joined in the frenzy around the body after a few minutes.
“It rolled over and disappeared,” Rutene said, without saying whether police are certain that they killed the creature.
“We kept watching [the man] while he was swimming. We saw the fin of the shark, then next minute, boom, it took him,” he said.
“While he was still alive he put his head up, we called him… he raised his hand up and then while he was raising his hand up, we saw another attack, pulled him under water.”
The witness says he heard police fire about six or seven shots at the shark from a helicopter and a boat.
The shark that attacked the swimmer was a great white, according to Russell Clark, a paramedic from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter service, which responded to the emergency at the beach. Following the death. About 200 people had been enjoying the beach during the Southern Hemisphere summer at the time of the attack. Police said
Police closed the beach and several others nearby. Auckland Council said it expected the area to remain closed for the next few days.
Shark attacks kill about 25 people a year worldwide, according to the New Zealand Department of Conservation. However, fatal attacks in the country’s beaches have been rare.
Shark attacks on humans are extremely rare despite today’s fatality on Auckland’s west coast, according to shark experts.
There have been 44 shark attacks recorded in New Zealand since 1847, 11 of them fatal. The last confirmed shark fatality was in 1976 at Te Kaha in the Bay of Plenty.
“We need to understand the context and the animals themselves before we start acting inappropriately and irresponsibly on these cases,” he said.
“A Great White’s predatorily response is to hit something and leave it alone and until it bleeds out and dies.”
Experts say there is no need to be alarmed by today’s attack and are urging the public to wait on a Coroner’s report to confirm the cause of the victim’s death.
The international shark attack file says there have been 48 known shark attacks in New Zealand, eight of them fatal.