Shark Attack Kills Filmmaker

NZ man attacked by likely great white while swimming near beach

A shark attack in New Zealand left an award-winning filmmaker dead Wednesday.

Adam Strange, a father of one and an avid outdoorsman, was swimming 220 yards offshore Auckland’s Muriwai Beach when a 12- to 14-foot great white bit him according to one eyewitness account and police reports.

At least two additional sharks joined in, said witness Pio Mose to the New Zealand Herald. Mose saw the incident from nearby rocks.

"I yelled at him to swim to the rocks. There was blood everywhere," Mose said to the Herald, according to USA Today. "The water was red. It's pretty scary. 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."

Police shot at one shark from a rescue boat in order to retrieve the body, reports TV New Zealand’s One News.

Strange, 46, wrote and directed the film Aphrodite’s Farm, which won a best short film award at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.

“When I get a spare 5 minutes,” wrote Strange on his website, “I like to make a fruit smoothy, surf some big waves out on the West Coast, point my skis down a mountain with Meg [my wife], haul my mountain bike up and down a few hills.”

Although terrifying, shark attacks are exceedingly rare in both New Zealand and worldwide. Prior to this incident, there have only been 13 documented fatal shark attacks in the Pacific nation since the 1840s, according to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. Worldwide, 64 people died in shark attacks from 2001 to 2012, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File—an average of just over five per year.

To put that in perspective, the WHO estimates that 380,000 people a year drown to death.

Local authorities have closed the beach while they search for the shark or sharks.