A man has died in a shark attack off the Auckland coast in New Zealand, reports say.
Documentary movie director Adam Strange was killed on February 27, while he was swimming near Muriwai beach. Strange has been awarded at the Berlin festival for a short film.
According to Stuff New Zealand
, many school children were at the beach at the time of the incident. Guardian
adds that 200 people watched the attack.
A shark, believed to be a great white, swooped in and attacked Strange as he was swimming 200 meters (656 feet) from the shore.
A seasoned swimmer, he was preparing for the long-distance Ocean Swim event, and he was heading from Maori Bay to Muriwai Beach.
Before the four-meter (13-foot) shark bit him, he tried to grab on to a rock, but did not have much time until the blood attracted four other sharks. Portions of his body were quickly ripped apart until police arrived.
Officers were dispatched at the scene in a helicopter and an inflatable surf lifesaving boat, and made efforts to recover Strange’s body by firing at the sharks.
The incident forced authorities to close down beaches north of Manukau Harbour this week. While two sharks were reported in the area after the incident, the beach is one of the safest in the country.
Only 14 shark-related deaths have ever been recorded in the proximity of Muriwai, and the latest occurred in 1976. Another swimmer was attacked by a shark in 2009, but authorities believe that he had drowned before the shark bit him.
''We are in deep shock and are still trying to contact overseas family members, so discretion and privacy would be appreciated until the family are ready to make any further statements,'' his family has stated.