A shark 12 to 14 feet long took a man's life off Muriwai Beach on Auckland's west coast Wednesday afternoon. Police managed to shoot the attacking shark as they saw a second one coming. Lifeguards also came to the victim's rescue, but the attack happened so fast that they only got to see the horrifying sight that followed. A lifeguard spokesman, who knew the victim, said the whole scenario was "traumatising."
New Zealand Police Fires at Shark, A Second Shark Spotted
The New Zealand Herald reported NZ police have hit the shark with gunfire but it managed to swim away. The shark is believed to be a great white, but this has not been officially confirmed. One of the police officers saw a second shark, but it was not clear whether it attacked the victim, too.
Police received a report about the shark attack at around 1.24 p.m. They got to the scene with an accompanying helicopter, which later stayed above the shark. The man's body was later recovered.
Young Lifeguards Traumatised by Fatal Attack
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service chairman Tony Jago spoke to the Herald and revealed he and the other lifeguards, some of whom were relatively young, knew the victim. In an emotional interview, Mr Jago said some of the lifeguards who tried desperately to save the victim knew him very well. Mr Jago said what they witnessed was "traumatising." The lifeguards were being offered support and counselling.
Mr Jago said Muriwai was not a place typically visited by sharks, especially not a large one. "This is something completely shocking," he told the Herald. The beach has been closed to the public until further notice.
Fatal Shark Attack: Witness Recounts Nightmarish Ordeal
Speaking to the Herald, witness Pio Mose said he saw the attack happened about 50 metres from where he was standing. "I yelled at [the victim] to swim to the rocks. There was blood everywhere. The water was red. It's pretty scary," he said. He also corroborated a police officer's statement that there was a second shark, plus two or more accompanying sharks.
"It's awful - it's scary like a nightmare to me. I was shaking, scared, panicked," said Mr Mose. He told reporters police fired at the shark about six times to shove it away and retrieve the man's body.
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