A shark possibly as long as 14 feet killed Adam Strange, a 46-year-old short film director, near a popular New Zealand beach on Wednesday.
Police reported to the Muriwai Beach, near Auckland, and fired gunshots at the predator in an attempt to save the swimmer, but the creature swam away, CBS News
The fatal attack was one of a dozen in the past 180 years in New Zealand.
Pio Mose, who was fishing at the beach, witnessed the attack and said the shark was simply too large and strong. Mose said he told Strange to swim toward nearby rocks, but the shark had already overpowered him.
"All of a sudden there was blood everywhere," Mose told The New Zealand Herald. "I was shaking, scared, panicked. All I was thinking was I wanted to jump in the water and help but I didn't want to get attacked by a shark too."
Mose, who has been fishing in the area for years, said he had never once seen a shark while out fishing.
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The attack occurred 650 feet offshore, Police Inspector Shawn Rutene said. Once onlookers reported the emergency, officials reported to the scene and drove out to the scene with inflatable surf-lifesaving boats. They shot at the shark, which was 12 to 14 feet long, in an attempt to save Strange, but to no avail.
"It rolled over and disappeared," Rutene said, without saying whether police are certain that they killed the creature.
All beaches on the west coast of Auckland have been closed until further notice.
The television and short film director lists surfing "big waves out on the West Coast" as one of his favorite hobbies. Strange's short film, "Aphrodite's Farm," won a Crystal Bear award at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, according to the Internet Movie Database.
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service chairman Tim Jago called the incident “traumatizing.” He said he was friends with Strange and often saw him surfing. "This is something completely shocking."
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