In case the news didn’t reach North America, a shocking story that has gripped the hearts of many New Zealanders this week is the tragic shark attack that claimed the life of a 46-year-old man. Adam Strange, a well known filmmaker and popular member of the Muriwai community, was swimming approximately 200m out off the West Coast of Auckland near Muriwai beach when he was attacked by a great white shark measuring approximately 4 meters long.
Although shark sightings in NZ are not entirely rare, attacks are. The last fatal shark attack in NZ was in back in 1976, quite some time ago. Further statistics show 44 shark attacks recorded in New Zealand since 1847, 11 of which were fatal.
(Photo Credit: Ross Land/AP)
(Image credit: Westpac Rescue/3news)
My 7 and 8 year old students arrived at school the next day well-informed about the event, as many of them had older brothers and sisters from the nearby intermediate school who were at Muriwai beach that very afternoon on a school trip. Apparently, the intermediate students heard the gunshots police fired at the shark, and saw the crimson evidence in the water that all was not ok. It was undoubtedly a frightening and saddening event for these young people (and anyone present) to witness.
The tight-knit community of Muriwai is mourning the loss of a person who had obviously made a profound impact on those who knew him. A beach tribute to Adam Strange was made this morning, with friends and family bravely wading into the waters of Muriwai beach.
Muriwai is a very popular surf beach among Aucklanders, one which we have visited on a number of occasions ourselves. Our hearts go out to Mr. Strange’s wife and two year old daughter, Indigo, along with other family and friends.